Book publishing re-learned an old lesson this winter. Books by celebrities are not automatic best sellers.
Indeed. they are flops. To wit: Sean Penn’s novel, “Bob Honey Who Just Do Stuff” has done nothing in book stores or online. Only 5,500 copies have been sold according to BookScan. “Bob Honey” is sitting at around number 3,000 among all titles on amazon.com. Simon & Schuster’s Atria imprint published the Oscar winner’s foray into fiction. The novel has universally terrible reviews on amazon.
At the same time, Rose McGowan’s emancipation proclamation, a memoir called “Brave,” hasn’t done much either. “Brave,” from HarperCollins, sold 6,900 copies through the end of March. It’s dropped to number 17,330 on amazon.com. The book was definitely hurt by McGowan flaking out on the first day of her book tour after a heckler interrupted a signing in New York.
Doing a little better were media books by Tina Brown and Joe Hagan. Through the end of March, Hagan’s Jann Wenner book sold around 29,000 copies. Tina Brown’s “Vanity Fair Diaries” sold 26,000 copies. They weren’t best-sellers, but Sean Penn would have been a lot happier with those numbers.