|At it again...all for you.|
by Angela K. Durden
The Most Brilliant Woman in the World
Business writer. Songwriter. Protecting creator's copyrights.
In The Washington Times online edition of June 18, 2019, in a front page article (wrapping to A6) is an article entitled "Obama shuns unwritten rules for ex-presidents".
Included were numbers very high up in the stratosphere for Barack's and Michelle's post-presidential paydays from writing books, giving speeches, and making deals with Netflix and Spotify for content creation.
I've been in the book business for many years and there's one thing I know for certain: Books by presidents and presidents' wives do not make a profit. I know this because their books end up being sold at book remainder shows where they are measured by the pound and put in large cardboard boxes that you then see at stores selling groceries and pharmacy items, and on sale shelves at bookstores for a few dollars each.
Another little secret you may not know is that the term sold (as in retail sales) is often switched out for the other word distributed. This is to hype marketing efforts.
For instance, it is said that Michelle Obama's book "Becoming" sold 10 million copies between November 13, 2018, and March 31, 2019. The sales figures were called remarkable. Does that figure include print, e-book, and audio book? It is not made clear. However, I have other issues with these numbers.
First, I do not believe that 10 million copies were printed of the 448-page book. That's a big book. It costs money to print, bind, store, fulfill, ship, manage returns, and do the bookkeeping. I would like to see that warehouse.
But let's just say that 10 million were printed. Were they printed all at one time, or did they sell out and have to go back to press? I doubt it, otherwise that would've been mentioned because that's a big deal. So, does that mean they were sold to one reader at a time? Ten million is a lot of books, so let's do the math.
Nov 13, 2018 to end of March 2019 = 138 days
That means each day 72,464 individuals had to purchase the book in order to say that 10 million copies sold. That is 1449 in each state each day. Were they driving to bookstores? Buying online?
Therefore, let's say that if 10 million were printed, then 10 million may have been distributed to book stores, but I double guar-O-damn-tee-ya 10 million did not sell.
So the question then comes up: How does any publishing company, including one as large as the Crown Publishing Group and Random House 2018 merger made, make any money on such a deal as this? They have huge overhead and are looking to cut costs and they go and make such a deal as this? What else is involved? Are they getting a fee for serving as her speaker bureau?
I'm calling their numbers bogus. It has happened before that publishing houses, production companies, etc., are used as the middle-men in payoffs or curry favor between politicians and other countries or businesses. So, the current Obama deals going on: Are they money laundering, slush funds, or legitimate sales? You decide.
In any case, I say...
SUPPORT YOUR CITIZEN JOURNALIST.