Wednesday, November 18, 2009

'Rogue' gain II

Newfound publishing juggernaut Sarah Palin® rolled into a mall on Grand Rapids, Mich., today, continuing the momentum already established for her new book, “Going Rogue.” Having briefly converted ABC into an all-Sarah-all-the-time network, Palin moved on to interviews with Fox News’ Sean Hannity and former recreational pharmaceutical enthusiast Rush Limbaugh.

There’s no such thing as bad buzz, especially in the voracious publishing industry, and Sarah Palin has been the recipient of a lot of it. News videos of the Woodland Mall showed Palin’s Greyhound-class bus rolling in; people snaking through the mall five deep; and the author herself cranking out signatures in her mavericky, swirly scrawl.

Palin’s apparently moving product outside Grand Rapids. The book’s still at No. 1 on amazon’s list, and Wal-Mart’s been selling the $28.99 list-price book at a fire-sale price of $8.99. Some in the punditburo have tried to suggest that means the book’s days are numbered. Not so; Wal-Mart (2009 sales: $401 billion) is the monarch of high-volume deep discounting. When you’ve already got more than 8,100 stores in 15 countries (including 250 in China — the hottest economy on the planet right now), you could sell Lamborghinis at Ford prices and still make a profit.

But Newsmax isn’t to be outdone. The conservative magazine recently launched a splashy ad campaign offering “Going Rogue” for $4.97, a small-d democratic price point if there ever was one.

◊ ◊ ◊

Palin, the former Alaska governor and culinary champion of moose stew and caribou lasagna, also found herself serving up a little cheesecake for the holidays. The latest issue of Newsweek resurrects a picture of Palin in a wardrobe that couldn’t have possibly cost $150,000: the once-and-future politician wearing short runners’ shorts in a breezy pose.

The reuse of the shot, originally for an article on fitness in the August 2009 Runners World, aroused the ire of Team Palin; Newsweek used it as a cover photo to tease an analysis assessing her relevance to the American political debate.

"The cover photo choice for this week's issue of Newsweek is unfortunate. With Sarah Palin, this 'news' magazine has relished focusing on the irrelevant rather than the relevant," a Palin spokeswoman wrote.

Relevance is in the eye of the customer. You watch: Months from now the Newsweek cover copy will be a collector’s item long after remaindered copies of “Going Rogue” start turning up on the street vendors’ tables outside Penn Station in New York. $3.99 apiece, tops. Ya betcha.


  1. From reading excerpts of the book, one conclusion that is unavoidable is the woman's jaw-dropping shallowness. When telling the story of how she was confronted at one point with news reports that she and her husband Todd were going to divorce, one would think (indeed one would hope) that she would offer for the reader's contemplation a heartfelt description of her abiding love for her husband; how their union could not be tossed aside like some disposable camera - that she and Todd took their wedding vows seriously. No, there was none of that....

    "Dang, I thought. Divorce Todd? Have you SEEN Todd???"

    TRANSLATION: If Todd gains fifty pounds, he's toast.

    Thirteen years into their marriage, Eleanor Roosevelt was confronted with her husband's affair with her social secretary (and distant relative of mine - I come from a long line of home wreckers) Lucy Paige Mercer. After contemplating divorce, it was decided that they would continue their union. Years later, she confided to her friend, Joesph Lash, the reasons for saving their marriage. They were many and complicated. This, I can assure you, was not one of those reasons:

    "Dang, I thought. Divorce Franklin? Have you SEEN Franklin???"

    Ah, substance!

    Tom Degan
    Goshen, New York

    1. Mr. Degan:

      I clearly don't check my blogs for responses as often as I should. If I did I'd have read this gem a lot longer. Thanks for reading my blog. I'm soon to post one on Sarah Palin's departure from Fox, what that says about her and about Fox. A story of two franchise in decline.

      Thanks again. Be well.



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