Ann Coulter Book Sales Decline

Jeff Bercovici notes Ann Coulter’s declining book sales:

Coulter’s latest book, Guilty: Liberal “Victims” and Their Assault on America, is something of a misfire by Coulterian standards. Of course, what constitutes a disappointment for Coulter would be a mega-hit for most authors; in its two months on sale, Guilty has sold 100,500 copies, according to Nielsen BookScan (a number that only reflects around 70 percent of actual sales).

But with it moving steadily down the best-seller list, it looks certain that Guilty will fall far short of matching her earlier results. Her 2006 polemic, Godless: The Church of Liberalism, sold 279,100 copies in hardcover, according to BookScan; Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terror, published in 2003, sold 396,600 hardcover copies, and 2002’s Slander: Liberal Lies About the American Right, sold 333,100 copies, plus another 108,300 in paperback. (The two other books she published over that period, How to Talk to a Liberal (If You Must) and If Democrats Had Any Brains, They’d Be Republicans, are both collections rather than original works, so I left them out for the sake of apples-to-apples comparison.)

Bercovici muses, “Could it be that Barack Obama’s America has a smaller appetite for Coulter’s brand of take-no-prisoners, obey-no-logic conservatism?”  To have any basis for analysis, I’d have to know how other public affairs are doing in this economy as well as the trendlines for liberal and conservative polemnics.

Looking at the best-seller list above, I see that A BOLD FRESH PIECE OF HUMANITY, by Bill O’Reilly is at number 9; A SLOBBERING LOVE AFFAIR, by Bernard Goldberg is at 13; and Coulter’s at 18.   Judging by the authors and titles, no left-leaning polemnics are on the list at all.

To be sure, there are some books that should be popular with liberals: LAST LION, edited by Peter S. Canellos (Ted Kennedy’s career, with contributions from a team of six Boston Globe reporters) at 7;  OBAMA, with an introduction by Bill Keller and biographical text by Jill Abramson at 8; THE INAUGURAL ADDRESS 2009, by Barack Obama at 10; and THE RETURN OF DEPRESSION ECONOMICS AND THE CRISIS OF 2008, by Paul Krugman at 20.  But these are certainly of a different piece.   (Books by Bill Maher and Al Franken, for example, would be comparables.)

My guess re: Coulter, for what it’s worth, is that people are tired of her schtick.  Not right-wing screeds, necessarily — I predict plenty of success for those in the Age of Obama — but rather variations on the same theme by the same author.  It’s a rare author who can crank out a book every few months that’s worth reading.  Rarer still are authors who can do it using the same subject matter.

Meanwhile, Andrew Sullivan, from whom I got the link, uses the news as an opportunity to  slam Coulter as a “cynical drag queen posing as a fascist.”

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Wayne says:

    “is that people are tired of her schtick.”

    So if her next book does well or if there is a sudden uptick in sales with this one, will you be writing that the opposite is true or will you come up with some other excuse?

  2. legion says:

    No, no – Coulter’s a fascist posing as a drag queen.

    “Hey! You got your drag queen in my fascism!”
    “Oh yeah? You got your fascism in my drag queen!”

  3. Bithead says:

    Wayne; really.
    And of course, there’s a slight downturn in sales, just now for her latest book… after all, it’s already several months out from day of release. (December 30th, if I”m not much mistaken)

    Look, let’s simply assume Bercovici is enguaged in leftie cheerleading, having apparently nothing more substansive to write about of late, that fits within his mantra. Like for example, he could write about the screaming failure of the Obama misadministration. But no, that wouldn’t do very well for the picture he wants to paint, would it?


  4. Eneils Bailey says:

    Even if that is true, Babe Ruth did not blast it over the fence every time he stepped to the plate.

    Over the long run, she has been and will continue to be a very provocative person. She will probably sell more books in the future that she has in the past.

  5. Wayne says:

    I not sure what part of my statement you have an issue with. I was trying to point out people will twist any situation to push their agenda. I.E. Ann decrease of sales of one book even though it is still high as proof that “people are tired of her schtick” even though the opposite result wouldn’t draw the opposite conclusion. Politicians do the same thing with elections. When they win it is “the people have spoken and they want “all” of our agenda to pass” vs. when they lose then it is “we didn’t get our message out and it is not a mandate for the other party agenda”.

    Granted everyone has a right to their opinion but I have a right to rebuttal.

  6. Anderson says:

    Wayne, I think Bitsy was agreeing with you.

    Legion, she’s a cynical fascist posing as a drag queen.

  7. Brainster says:

    She may have lost a few conservatives with her comments about campaigning for Hillary if McCain got the GOP nomination. I crossed her off my buy list at that point.

  8. Now, I love Ann Coulter, but, quite frankly, Guilty was only so-so. Bernie Goldbergs’s book was rather weak, too.

  9. Wayne says:

    Anderson I wasn’t sure. Sometime you think someone mean a post one way and it isn’t or that they a being sarcastic and they are not. So instead of jumping to conclusions at what I think people mean I thought I would just ask.

  10. Jim says:

    Ann Coulter’s newest came out the same time as President Obama took office – I do believe that most Americans want the President to succeed in the general sense of the term and is more than willing to give any new President a break from the incessant partisanship (notice I state Americans and not the political class). It would have been smarter for her to wait until President Obama’s poll numbers start dropping to release the book but I guess she was first out of the gate and the paperback should be out by Christmas.

  11. G.A.Phillips says:

    And then maybe nobody’s got any money left to buy her book.Hope and change baby hope and change.

  12. steve s says:

    Ann had a marketing failure this time, for one thing. Usually, immediately before she releases a book, she deliberately says something horrible like “The 9’11 widows are attention whores” or whatever, there’s a big brouhaha, and she gets lots of free publicity. This time she hasn’t managed to get that publicity. I wonder what she said that was ignored this time.

  13. Brett says:

    Do they still do that trick where they sell gobs of these books to bookstores (thus getting the book on the bestseller lists), then re-sell the books at discount rates to various foundations who give them away as freebies?

    As for Coulter, she’s a vampire. ’nuff said.

  14. Eneils Bailey says:

    As for Coulter, she’s a vampire. ’nuff said

    Yeah, and she is locked onto the liberal community’s neck, and they can’t shake her.

  15. Bithead says:

    I not sure what part of my statement you have an issue with.

    “Really” is a form of agreement. I extended from there.