I know how hard it is to write a book. I know how capricious the market can be. And I know how unseemly gloating can be. Still, I can’t help but smile a bit at the news that Matt Yglesias has sold 705 books according to Bookscan.* (My Bookscan number is 91,246).
Matt was smarmy, sneering, haughty and even dishonest about my book for years before it came out and even worse after. I remember , after he wrote his lame review of LF my editor, Adam Bellow, advised me to laugh it off. All of Matt’s whines about how terrible it was and what a chore it was to read were really compliments he explained. Yglesias felt he had to read my book (or at least he felt he had to claim he read it). My book mattered enough that he couldn’t ignore it. Adam was right. I remember telling an audience at a talk at the Borders on L street at the time that I doubted I’d feel like I’d have to read Matt’s book when it came out. It turns out I was right. Indeed, it seems the feeling is quite widespread.
* The rule of thumb in publishing is that Bookscan captures about 70% of retail sales. Book clubs, sales through place NR and some other non-conventional channels are not counted either.