Skip to main content

The Conservative publishing industry has been experiencing a boom along with the rise of right-wing talk radio. But now, that has come to an end like anything which is assumed to grow forever and ever. Buzzfeed reports that conservative book sales have suddenly plummeted.

This pattern continues as you scan the works of recent and prospective Republican presidential candidates. According to one knowledgeable source, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker received an even larger advance than Pawlenty’s, and Bookscan has his 2013 book Unintimidated selling around 16,000 copies. Sen. Rand Paul’s latest, Government Bullies, has barely cracked 10,000 sold; and despite spending months in the 2012 GOP primaries, Rick Santorum’s book about the founding fathers, American Patriots, sold just 6,538 copies. Perhaps most surprising, Immigration Wars, co-authored by Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor who consistently polls in the top tier of the Republican 2016 field, sold just 4,599 copies.

This has caused a lot of book publishers to lose money. Certain publishers like to advance prospective Presidential candidates a lot of money, hoping that they will cash in if their candidate wins the White House. But that is simply not viable anymore because people are simply not buying their books.

One of the problems is that the market has become saturated.

That of course isn’t the only problem afflicting the conservative publishing market. Borders bookstores, whose widespread placement in exurban malls and rural communities made them magnets for right-leaning customers, shut down in 2011. And the web has decimated the subscription-based “book clubs” that launched a slew of conservative best-sellers in the ’90s and early 2000s.

Meanwhile, the proliferation of conservative publishers has made the economics of their genre much tougher, with an ever-increasing number of books competing for an audience that hasn’t grown much since the ’90s. One agent compared conservative literature to Young Adult fiction, an unsexy niche genre that quietly pulled in respectable profits for years until the big houses took notice, and began entering into bidding wars for promising authors, and flooding the market in a frenzied attempt to find the next Twilight.

The next problem is demographics. A greater percentage of people in this country are Blacks, Latinos, and other minorities, meaning that at some point, our country will become a majority-minority nation. And a lot fewer younger people are right-wingers compared to their older peers, meaning that when older conservatives die, there will be fewer people to replace them with.

That brings up a question which the article didn't address -- are there similar declines in book sales across the board, or is this decline limited to Conservative book sales? The answer surprised us.

Hardcover book sales in the U.S. are up over 10% through the first eight months of 2013, according to the latest numbers from the Association of American Publishers. At the same time, adult ebook sales are only up 4.8%; all U.S. ebook sales, including children’s and religious ebooks, are down about 5%.
So, contrary to the perception that hard copy is going down the drain due to technology, it has been making a comeback. And nobody is exactly sure why. People are still up for a good book.

Originally posted to Stop the Police State! on Fri Mar 21, 2014 at 06:07 PM PDT.

Also republished by Readers and Book Lovers.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Pat K California, JWC, Sylv, True North, murphy, Liberal Thinking, tikkun, Gooserock, TrueBlueMajority, RunawayRose, bosdcla14, Emerson, Minnesota Deb, LynChi, Midwest Meg, eeff, gjohnsit, MarkInSanFran, jancw, Creosote, whenwego, ehavenot, ask, PeteZerria, splashy, antirove, aitchdee, psnyder, Nag, roseeriter, duncanidaho, defluxion10, annetteboardman, AmyCat, Diana in NoVa, Major Kong, zerelda, ybruti, Sembtex, randallt, tomjones, Josiah Bartlett, bibble, thereisnospoon, Armand451, Gowrie Gal, Skennet Boch, historys mysteries, Tinfoil Hat, Chinton, one of 8, basquebob, terrypinder, dewtx, ChemBob, viral, YucatanMan, reflectionsv37, fixxit, PSzymeczek, bleeding blue, majcmb1, pasadena beggar, aaraujo, cspivey, skyounkin, Ice Blue, markdd, jane123, RichterScale, Savvy813, Shotput8, Ginny in CO, turdraker, kathny, begone, Born in NOLA, MadGeorgiaDem, emeraldmaiden, HoundDog, Gorette, seefleur, ruleoflaw, AoT, NBBooks, alwaysquestion, Rosaura, Crashing Vor, JVolvo, armadillo, doinaheckuvanutjob, middleagedhousewife, CA Nana, chicating, kurt, NancyWH, bstotts, Aaa T Tudeattack, Sapere aude, camlbacker, Dartagnan, offgrid, yoduuuh do or do not, karmsy, Matt Z, certainot, cyncynical, jnhobbs, millwood, RudiB, Wreck Smurfy, leonard145b, JML9999, Don midwest, Empower Ink, gundyj, mconvente, JeffW, BobBlueMass, JaxDem, GAS, OleHippieChick, Youffraita, Tchrldy, Involuntary Exile, bythesea, skohayes, KJG52, monkeybrainpolitics, Lujane, TomFromNJ, pamelabrown, hwmnbn, Hanging Up My Tusks, Jeff Y, watercarrier4diogenes, LaFeminista, 207wickedgood, maggiejean, Louisiana 1976, bleuet, Methinks They Lie, Ohiodem1, Tara the Antisocial Social Worker, followyourbliss, MKSinSA, TheOpinionGuy, glitterlust, stevenwag, sfarkash, nocynicism, Larsstephens, Susan Grigsby, klompendanser, Crabby Abbey, jakedog42, mookins, Polly Syllabic, dagnome, ATFILLINOIS, RJP9999, pixxer, Puddytat, nirbama, Loose Fur, science nerd, Oh Mary Oh, stevenaxelrod, marktheonegun, slice, slowbutsure, lillyspad, marleycat, thomask, chickeeee, MRA NY, IB JOHN, whoknu, MinistryOfTruth, Caddis Fly, JoeEngineer, Joe Jackson, goleft333, greenotron, leftykook, Alfreda89, Chitown Kev, Auriandra, DEMonrat ankle biter, Mortifyd, Sister Inspired Revolver of Freedom, anodnhajo, sow hat, IndieGuy, ahumbleopinion, pimutant, a2nite, 2thanks, ANY THING TOO ADD, jan4insight, geojumper, radical simplicity, Arahahex, oldpotsmuggler, arizonablue, George3, wasatch, MarkW53, Blue Bell Bookworm, Linda1961, twocrows1023, P Carey, minnec, Aunt Pat, Jollie Ollie Orange, RiveroftheWest, GreenMother, ET3117, ruellia, TheDuckManCometh, bobwilk, blugrlnrdst, RUNDOWN, Chas 981, hamjudo, Dodgerdog1, Elizaveta, luerwulf, old mule, Will Stark, Gurnt, ginimck, wilywascal, Arkenstark, AJayne, Cynthia Hobgood Strauss, elenacarlena, WRCousCous, numble, okpkpkp, NewRomeIsBurning

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site