Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, April 25, 2021

Yes, the above is a fairly stupid headline. But it’s apt enough to describe how books targeted for stay-at-home-moms may get the mommyblogosphere buzzing, but don’t fly off the bookstore shelves.

Recent mommy books that have not lived up to the promise of their publicity include Sylvia Ann Hewlett’s “Creating a Life: Professional Women and the Quest for Children,” which sold only 11,000 copies in hardcover and 2,000 in paperback, according to BookScan, despite the book’s appearance on “60 Minutes,” “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and the covers of Time and New York magazines.

And last year Caitlin Flanagan’s “To Hell With All That: Loving and Loathing Our Inner Housewife,” a collection of essays that said, among other things, that when a woman works, something is lost, generated a media and Internet frenzy, but sold only 9,000 copies in hardcover, according to BookScan.

It’s a case of the marketing blitz imparting enough teaser information to spark a reliable font of online reaction. Trouble is, all that second-hand user-generated content then mushrooms, to the point where the large casual audience gets its fill of the object of debate, without having to actually crack open the book.

In a sense, it’s the ultimate aggregation of content for a group that sees online media as the only outlet that fits their schedule. SAHMs don’t have much time to sit down and read a book, but they’ve got time to scan through a blog post that summarizes it. Whether or not the summary is based on an actual reading of said book is incidental — all that counts is that it’s from a trusted and kindred mommyblogger.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 04/25/2007 10:30:27 PM
Category: Bloggin', Publishing
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Who knew the late great Sassy Magazine was such a pacesetter for Girl Nation circa 1990?

Sassy was the antithesis of the homecoming queen, please-your-boyfriend culture. It published articles about suicide and STDs while Seventeen was still teaching girls how to get a boy to notice you.

Although Sassy folded in 1994, its readers remember it well. The generation of women that was influenced by the magazine went on to create a new batch of Sassy-inspired publications like Bitch, Bust, and Venus.

Actually, I think Jane Magazine is the most direct descendant. The edgy pubs cited above are for grown-up Sassystanis. Although even they would dig a look at the never-published “lost” last issue of the old mag.

Perhaps the final insult to Sassy: URLs for a modern incarnation currently point to an online babywares store and some lame school-approved Hawaiian teen journal. The Sass is out of gas…

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 04/25/2007 10:06:31 PM
Category: Pop Culture, Publishing, Women
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To celebrate the paperback release of “100 Bullshit Jobs… And How to Get Them”, author Stanley Bing is putting half of it online.

Some occupations are no-brainers for this list: Construction-site flag waver, life coach, and of course, Donald Trump. Note that the “bullshit” designator doesn’t rely upon salary figure; the lowly crumber (crumber??) and the high-flying EVP New Media have equal standing on this dubious scale.

I note with pride that my two current gigs make the list: Consultant and blogger. Of course, I’m getting paid for only one (guess which), so I guess I’m bullshitting at only half-capacity.

Bing invites you to submit your own idea of bullshit employment. I’m tempted to send in “being Stanley Bing”, but I’m sure I’d be No. 52,893 or thereabouts.

by Costa Tsiokos, Wed 04/25/2007 08:42:01 PM
Category: Business, Comedy, Publishing
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