March 18, 2004

Burning Up His Publisher's Investment

WE HAVE ONE WORD to say regarding this sales report on disgraced plagarist Jayson Blair's book: sweet.

A mere 1,386 copies were sold through last Sunday -- its first week -- according to Nielsen BookScan, which covers about 70 percent of the market. As of this writing, it is also ranked approximately 5,000 in sales on Los Angeles-based New Millennium Press gave Mr Blair a $150,000 advance and printed up 250,000 copies.

It would appear Mr Blair is on his way to committing the second cardinal sin in the writing world, namely: earn one's publisher his advance back, or face ruin and despair. We estimate that Mr Blair has perhaps earned just $6,000 -- maybe $7,000 -- against that sum, which means his work will almost certainly prove a disaster for his publishing house.

If you put up your ear to your computer speaker, you can hear us playing the world's smallest violin!

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at March 18, 2004 09:11 PM | TrackBack

This is good news. Let's hope it is the start of a trend in which famous miscreants are unable to financially capitalize on their misdeeds.

As for Mr. Blair's book publisher, I certainly believe a publisher must have the complete and unrestricted right to publish any manuscript they wish. In this case, I am delighted with the verdict of the marketplace in dealing a big loss to the publisher for its involvement in bringing forward this effort to capitalize on Mr. Blair's poor conduct.

Posted by: Swammi in Solon at March 19, 2004 09:02 AM