The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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August 24, 2012

Lee Duran: Information may be bad, but readers don’t care

JOPLIN, Mo. — “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.” So said Oscar Wilde and so say book sellers.

Publicity is usually good, even when it’s bad. Case in point: “Jefferson Lies: Exposing the Myths You’ve Always Believed About Thomas Jefferson” by David Barton, which hit the New York Times best-seller list upon publication.

Then came complaints of “factual inaccuracies and historical misinterpretations” and the publisher, Thomas Nelson, yanked it from the shelves and took down the e-book version, reported Publisher’s Weekly.

Did that kill the book? Not hardly.

It shot to No. 8 on Amazon’s best-seller chart, although it can only be bought through independent sellers.

Furthermore, negotiations are now underway between the author and Glenn Beck’s Mercury Ink publishing arm -- not surprising since Beck wrote the foreword for the book. Nelson kept rights to the digital version, although it’s not currently for sale and won’t be unless the author agrees to “reconvert it” to bring back the e-book of the current edition.

Barton said the new edition “will not include any substantive changes, but I will rephrase some things to remove any potential confusion.” He also plans to add back some of the content Nelson cut in their editing process. Reviewing the accusations made by his critics, he claims he’s “actually run across more supporting documents that strengthen my case, not weaken it.”

 

Proof that sex sells

“The Diamond Club,” a “steamy, narratively (sic) incoherent, beekeeper sex loaded hit” is a crowdsourced erotic stunt novel -- and boy, is it selling. At last call, the Vook book was No. 4 among paid books on Apple iTunes.

And what, you may ask, is a Vook? I asked, too. It’s “an intuitive and easy-to-use cloud-based e-book publishing platform.”

Casey Chan tells the tale at gizmodo.com and quite a tale it is. Two hosts of the NSFW Podcast, Brian Brushwood and Justin Robert Young, discovered that the top 10 books in iTunes were all erotic fiction. And so arose the idea for “The Diamond Club.”

The two invited listeners to send in their own erotic chapters to be cobbled together in a book with no plot and no connection to each other except to feature the main character.

“I was curious how the book, which very definitely delivers on the core aspect of erotic fiction (lots and lots of sex) could still be considered a hoax,” Chan wrote.

Justin’s reply: “It’s a hoax in that we are not erotic fiction writers. We don’t genuinely think it’s any good. But I will stand behind our product that it delivers what we believe to be the most important component in this genre: sex.”

With more than 1,000 user reviews, only one of them calls out the hoax. On Amazon, it got four-and-a-half stars and rave reviews.

The book description: Erotic, gripping and emotionally-charged, “The Diamond Club” is a story of revenge and discovery that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Color me baffled, although I love the ingenuity these two guys displayed. You gotta give ‘em what they want and it’s even better if you can do it with a minimum of effort on your own part.

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