Andrew Bolt Wrote A Book And No One Bought It

Good on him for having a go.

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Everyone’s favourite right-wing columnist Andrew Bolt has written a book called “Worth Fighting For” which is, according to the author, a collection of “my best columns… but also diaries I wrote for Spectator Australia, blog items and reflections written just for this edition”.

The book was published in June and since then has gone on to sell less than a thousand copies. The Saturday Paper reported over the weekend that only 716 copies of “Worth Fighting For” had been sold. Book industry sources confirmed that figure to Junkee today, citing the Nielsen Bookscan database that tracks book sales across the country. When it was first released Bolt accused booksellers of placing a “ban” on its sale and quoted a number of commenters on his website who struggled to find the book in shelves.

One commenter told Bolt “Hi Andrew, I asked for your book in a bookstore I happen to walk past. The lady took me to the political section and grabbed your book (displaying only the spine)”.

Another commenter said “I went today to buy my copy of your book (Dymocks George Street), wasn’t downstairs, was aisle 41, up in mezzanine (where political books are). Moved a few to the middle pile, to be with the new releases ..”

Given the book seems to have been readily available in a number of bookstores, in the appropriate section, it’s not clear what the justification is for Bolt’s conspiracy theory that booksellers ordered copies of his books and then refused to sell them. It would be very strange for bookstores to deliberately not sell stock that they had explicitly ordered.

A bigger issue for Bolt was probably the fact that a number of bookstores simply refused to stock his book altogether. When it was first released Junkee thought it might be worth reviewing, given Bolt’s enormous national media profile and influence on Australian conservative politics, but we struggled to find  a store that stocked it. We checked more than half a dozen book stores around inner-city Sydney and none of them were stocking the book. A number of sales staff laughed in our faces when we asked for a copy.

To be fair to Bolt, it is still early days in terms of sales. Though the fact that many retailers aren’t stocking his book at all doesn’t bode well. Industry experts we spoke to expressed surprise at the low sales figures and suggested that given his national profile, his publishers might have been expecting the book to make it into the top 50 bestseller list. At this stage “Worth Fighting For” doesn’t look anywhere close to cracking to the top 50 list.

But good on Bolt for having a go. He’s one of the most excluded voices in the Australian media landscape, what with his daily blog, nationally syndicated column, and weekly TV show, so well done on sticking it to the man and getting another book published. Bolt’s show on Sky News attracts a relatively small audience of 23,000 viewers, but that’s still thirty times greater than the number of copies sold of “Worth Fighting For”. Worth buying? Bolt’s own audience doesn’t think so.