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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