Sympathetic Stupid

Monday, September 19, 2005


A quote from the editorial in today's Crikey says:

The Latham Diaries – a "riveting chronicle of life inside politics" – hits the stores today, and it's going to be a publishing smash hit.

Is it going to be a 'publishing smash hit'? I don't know what the threshold for smash hit is, but surely it's at least 100k copies, though Melbourne Uni Press will probably get their money back on about 5-10k. I always wonder if the media just assumes that everyone cares about national issues like politics just as much as they do. How many people actually care about the tale, enough to get the wallet out? Most politics books just don't sell, do they?

Judging from the underwhelming electoral performance, a significant proportion of the population don't like him. And it's likely that a similarly significant chunk of Australia knows nothing and cares less about politics. Does Latham retain enough cred among the self-professed politically-savvy that they'll but the book (if only to see if they're named)? Or will the publicity surrounding the vitriol drum up enough interest?

I reckon it'll be disappointing for the publisher.