Brian Maloney (The Radio Equalizer) has identified something interesting at Amazon.com: “Is liberal Air America host Sam Seder's new book inadvertently encouraging readers to join the conservative cause?”
He continued: “In what is either a strange error, an Amazon.com staffer with a real sense of humor, or a bona fide trend, Air America host Sam Seder's new book FUBAR: America's Right-Wing Nightmare seems to be encouraging buyers to purchase Ann Coulter's Godless instead!”
For those not familiar with how Amazon works, when you go to the site and enter a book title, a page comes up that describes the book, gives some reader reviews, offers other books of typically similar content or style that readers might also enjoy, and then documents what people have actually purchased after looking at such titles. In the case of the F.U.B.A.R. page, these numbers are currently (at 10:50 AM ET, July 6):
What do customers ultimately buy after viewing items like this?
8% buy the item featured on this page: F.U.B.A.R. : America's Right-Wing Nightmare by Sam Seder $15.57
Hmmm. So, eleven times as many people “after viewing items like this” opt for Coulter’s “Godless”? Maloney tried to explain this seeming paradox: “font face="Times New Roman">While opponents of liberal and conservative books alike do try to skew the review pages of books with negative comments, since they represent actual purchases, we have no idea how one could manipulate these figures. For Seder, this news must be tough to accept.”
In reality, there is likely a much simpler explanation. Regardless of the disparity in content, “F.U.B.A.R.” and “Godless” must be considered in the same category. As such, since “Godless” is actually selling large quantities versus “F.U.B.A.R.”, it makes sense that eleven times more people that viewed “items like this” bought “Godless.”
Of course, that doesn’t reduce the delicious irony in how this page reads. Just imagine the anger on the part of an Air America devotee looking to purchase a book by one of his or her heroes only to find a Coulter book seemingly being recommended as an alternative.
Maloney accurately closed his post:
Meanwhile, with a current Amazon rank of 776 (update: now at 932) in the book sales category, FUBAR's having a tough go of it. Apparently, a non-fiction release trashing Americans for expressing religious views isn't in especially high demand these days!