In an e-mail to the Voice today, Crown Forum publishing V.P. Tina Constable took umbrage with a Power Plays item about Crown author Ann Coulter. The item questioned whether the sales figures for Coulter’s latest book, Godless: The Church of Liberalism, were being plumped through a campaign of giveaways by conservative groups.
The article that Sarah Ferguson wrote about the purported bulk sales of Ann
Coulter’s new book Godless driving bestseller lists as well as contributing to its overall first week sales is completely inaccurate. If Ms. Ferguson had done her homework, she would known that NewsMax, Human Events and book club sales are not reported to Nielsen BookScan or any bestseller list.
Bookscan is quite clear about where it gathers its sales information.
In essence, Godless sold far more copies than what BookScan is reporting.
Constable is right. Mea culpa.
Nielsen BookScan does not track sales made through NewsMax, Human Events, and the Conservative Book Club. Rather, it tracks retail sales from national, regional, and online chains such as Barnes & Noble, Borders, Amazon, etc., as well as independent sellers and some mass retailers such as Target and Cosco. A spokesperson from Nielsen BookScan said its data could include bulk orders received from the stores it tracks. However, it is more likely that groups offering free or discount books would buy them wholesale from a distributor. On Friday afternoon, I could not reach anyone from NewsMax, Human Events, or CBC to clarify where they received their copies of Godless.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on June 16, 2006