The intensity of internet discourse can sometimes create an overinflated sense of just how interested the general public is in certain stories.
For instance, Graham Linehan’s new memoir Tough Crowd: How I Made And Lost A Career In Comedy sold 390 copies in its first week – including pre-sales. A figure that fails to place it in the Top 1000.
To put that into context, titles that did crack the Top Thou include: a large print wordsearch book in at No.551, which sold more than twice that; and a colouring book called Dinosaurs Around The World, which sold over 2,000.
He’s currently claiming to have sold tens of thousands of copies, apparently unaware that “ordered by bookshops who thought serialisation in two national newspapers would mean a lot of sales” and “actually bought by people” are not the same thing. Books not sold are returned to the publisher after a set period.
Hilarious hubris aside, the opening paragraph of the Popbitch piece is key here: that story, and the trouncing of the Tories in last night’s by-election, are yet more evidence that the anti-trans culture war is an obsession of a very small group of people: newspaper proprietors, right-wing politicians and obsessive internet trolls.
Update: in fairness, it’s worth pointing out that the figures won’t include pre-sales sold directly via the publisher, which is where the author’s biggest fans will have been getting their copies from. But that just further proves the point that the general public just isn’t interested.