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Thursday, April 27, 2006
Where Glenn Greenwald Went Wrong--Updated

Trusting Kos. Glenn gets on his high horse about Drudge's report yesterday which indicated that Crashing The Gates, the book by Kos and Jerome Armstrong, had sold about 3600 copies.

Glenn says:

The uselessness of the Drudge item is self-evident. The most glaring and gaping hole is that the figures do not include online sales. Markos and Jerome are known almost exclusively for their work online. People who know them -- and who would therefore buy their book -- are almost certainly people who spend a lot of time online, and who therefore likely buy their books online. Given that their most noteworthy accomplishments are as bloggers, I would guess that the vast, vast bulk of people who buy Markos and Jerome's book order it online, not in brick-and-mortar bookstores. To try to analyze the success of their book by excluding online sales is blatantly and staggeringly dumb. It would be like trying to determine the success of the next Ann Coulter book by only looking at sales in Berkeley and Madison, Wisconsin.

How does Glenn know that Bookscan doesn't include online sales? He links to this item over at Kos, which claims:

Bookscan just surveys a sampling of big box retailers, so it's not a complete market analysis. Merely a snapshot of major retailers (and not even all of them). And it absolutely fails to capture online sales.

So I thought, why not go to the source? I sent an email to Jim King at Bookscan, and he sent me back this handy-dandy listing of who's included:

Gee, sure looks to me like's online sales are included! Note particularly that there are separate listings for Barnes & Noble and Barnes &, which indicates to me that they are getting both sides of that business.

Now I could get mean here and try to tie this into "The Anatomy of the 'Thought' Process of Bush Attackers", and say how this just shows how Greenwald and the others like him are "characterized by an increasingly absolutist refusal to recognize any facts which conflict with their political desires, and conversely, by a borderline-religious embrace of any assertions which bolster those desires."

Or I could just say that he got duped by Kos. Which is, of course, the same thing.

Update: Glenn links back. I appended a comment over there:

I think what's happened here is that both Kos and Instapundit have access to different numbers that tell them their sales are higher than the Bookscan figures, so both think they are outselling the other. And of course, Glenn trusts Kos and Roger and Hinderaker trust Reynolds.

Update II: K Ashford asks in the comments:

Interesting that he would send that information (from 2005, I see) to you in a graphic. Does this appear on a website somewhere?

It did not come to me in a graphic, it was in a Word document that lays out as above. Since I can't post a Word document other than as plain text, I did a screen cap, pasted it to my photo editor and then posted the JPEG.

Tell you what? Why don't you post your email and his response?

I'll save K Ashford some time. Why don't you just email him yourself and see what you get? Do you think that Glenn Greenwald didn't before he acknowledged that I was right?
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