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Saturday, August 12, 2017

Book Sales Suffer under Trump's Presidency

I’ve written about Donald Trump’s lack of reading (http://schatjesshelves.blogspot.ca/2016/08/american-presidents-and-presidential.html) though it seems he has inspired a number of writers (http://schatjesshelves.blogspot.ca/2017/03/trump-inspired-novels.html) and lists of suggested readings during his term in office (http://schatjesshelves.blogspot.ca/2017/02/what-to-read-during-trumps-presidency.html).   There was even a campaign to buy Trump a book for Valentine’s Day:  https://schatjesshelves.blogspot.ca/2017/02/buy-book-for-donald-trump-on-valentines.html.

Despite having inspired writers and lists of recommended readings to survive his presidency, it seems that the president has actually had a detrimental effect on book sales.  An article in the New Republic argues that “Trump’s Presidential win has sent a rippling effect through the book publishing world, affecting authors, booksellers, editors, agents, and publicists: In a world where reality has become stranger than fiction, actual books are no longer selling.” 

Apparently, watching televised hearings has replaced reading:  “The disastrous and almost comically incompetent Trump presidency has both frightened the reading market away from popular books and functioned as a kind of mass entertainment with which it is difficult to compete, with Senate hearings and official testimonies becoming must-see TV.” 

The good news is that “there seems to be a renaissance emerging for marginalized artists: The same identities that are being persecuted and demonized by the Trump administration are finding a warm welcome from an increasingly diverse literary audience that is eager to hear vulnerable voices.” 

The article concludes, “For authors whose books were released in the thick of the political storm, to booksellers watching readers flock to dystopian works, the Trump administration has succeeded in influencing our consideration of books—not necessarily for better or for worse, but in ways that demonstrate how much we need words to survive and provide solace for troubling times ahead.”