FRIDAY UPDATE 6:11PM The book has fallen to 1,930 on amazon.
WEDNESDAY Before it was published, Harvey Weinstein worried that Ken Auletta’s book about him would be harmful.
Harvey told insiders he thought the book would be a big hit and dredge up all kinds of negative stuff about him.
Well, Weinstein, the former Miramax mogul, is wrong. “Hollywood Ending,” Auletta’s long in the making examination of the convicted producer’s life, is a sales dud.
Published on Tuesday by Penguin Random House, “Hollywood Ending” appears to have sold very few copies. On amazon, it is currently number 1,458. On Barnes & Noble’s website, it’s number 995.
The current state of book sales is that if a non fiction headline making release isn’t in immediate demand, it’s not going to be. You can tell in the first 24 hours if there’s interest in a subject. Or if there isn’t.
Auletta had a splashy appearance this past weekend on “CBS Sunday Morning.” That show usually sells books like crazy. It did lift “Hollywood Ending” up from around 2,500 on amazon. But it didn’t take it any farther.
Last Friday, Auletta got a Valentine in the New York Times from Maureen Dowd that indicated he was The Greatest of All Time in many categories. If you were a book publicist, Dowd and CBS would be the sweet spot for selling Auletta’s book. He also had an excerpt in the New Yorker.
But nothing has happened.
It’s not that Auletta isn’t charming on TV, or a bad writer. He’s neither. But “Hollywood Ending” has no blockbuster revelations. Auletta admits it in the book. Whatever made Harvey Weinstein have two distinct personalities has eluded the reporter. He couldn’t figure out what would make a successful man with a beautiful wife rape and pillage at the same time.
“Hollywood Ending” is just the latest media book that’s landed on the bonfire of vanities. Inside stories generally appeal just to the other insiders looking for answers. In this case, Auletta not being able to penetrate the mystery eliminated even that audience. Regular readers don’t have time to read a story with no conclusion apparently. And the theory that Weinstein lost his mind because his mother used to berate him as a child just hasn’t cut the mustard.