38 thoughts on “Sh*t The Bed

  1. Tibor

    Relax everyone, book shop ‘charts’ are done much the same way that computer game shop ‘charts’ are done.
    The publisher pays a set fee, and the book is displayed in the charts accordingly, it’s part of the marketing not a realistic reflection of sales at the time.
    It’s a safe guess that this particular shop runs itself exactly like every other corporately own dvd/ game/ book shop.
    However, it’s only done this way because people see that a book is at number 1, ask themselves “Why?” and buy a copy of the book to see what the fuss is all about, thus driving sale. It’s the marketing equivalent of a self-fullfilling prophesy.

    1. Ernie Ball

      That is complete nonsense and is not how bookshops operate. They may take a fee for prominent placement and that may increase sales for the title, pushing it up their charts. They may also have book launches there that the publisher pays for and that may push the book up the charts that week. But the charts themselves are not for sale at any bookshop I know of and certainly not at Hodges-Figgis.

      1. InGen

        Indeed, I would be very surprised if that was the case. Surely charts are sales charts.

        1. Tibor

          Unfortunately we have to go with the marketing loophole that “Sales charts” are sales charts. If you assume that all ‘Charts’ are all “sales” charts when they said no such thing then that’s not their fault.
          But, that mightn’t be the case here, but if you want a good measure of what I was saying, go into a book/ dvd/ game shop on a new release day, and see how many new releases are sitting comfortably in the charts.
          Just a tip, might not apply to this situation here, AND fair play to Niall for any of his sales.

          1. SK

            This is all bullshit.

            I actually worked in HF for years and one of my jobs was to maintain the bestseller section each week. It is based on HF’s own sales and there is no push by publishers to get into this section or back handed payments. Admittedly the whole section is not representative of total sales because over the whole top 20 they wanted a representation of the 3 floors of the shop (otherwise fiction would mostly dominate). However, the top 10 is based on actual sales figures.

            From observation though a large majority of customers used to come in and just buy whatever is at number 1 with the reasoning, “oh if it’s at number 1 it must be good.” I remember the ‘Pope’s Children’ came out one year just before Christmas and people kept buying it not even knowing who David McWilliams was and buying for their mam or granny or aunty regardless of whether they might have any interest in the subject matter. (We got a lot of returns in the new year). As people just kept buying the book in this way it stayed at number 1 for weeks so it’s necessarily representative of a book’s popularity or credibility.

          2. SK

            the same happened one year with a Hitler biography too. He was number 1 for about 6 weeks!

          3. Tibor

            Hey, SK,

            Not engaging in “bullsh*t” here. And not saying that marketing budgets are ‘backhanded payments’. No need to get defensive, I’m giving my honest experience on my years in retail.
            Seriously, if that’s not how HF runs things, that’s cool.
            The bookshop I worked in no longer exists here, but go into GameStop on Friday morning and look at how many of the top-charted games are only out that day. Especially when it’s a major release title.

            Good to know that the self-fullfilling prophesy of people just buying whatever’s number 1 in the charts is prevalent in HF too, I’ve also seen many things linger in charts beyond their worth or relevance too.

          4. SK


            I’m not getting defensive. I’m just calling out your original statement as bullshit….which is what it was. You were commenting on something without having all the facts i.e. bullshitting

            It’s cool though, we all do it so no need to be embarrassed. ;)

      2. Tibor

        Absolutely stand corrected if it’s not the case for this bookshop, I did say it was a ‘safe guess’ since I’ve worked in another large bookshop (corporate owned) and how I described it is exactly how it operated.

      3. pedeyw

        I can’t speak for bookshops but when I worked in Xtra Vision in my student days we were given a list of top 20 films that didn’t reflect real sales or rentals. They were just the movies that the company wanted us to push that week. I have always just assumed since that charts in all shops worked that way.

        1. InGen

          Wow. Okay, well I didn’t realise that. Very interesting – and highly annoying where true!

        2. SK

          I worked in Xtravision too in my student days. How many times you get held up?

          3 times in one week for me!

        3. squiggleyjoop

          I used to work in an Xtra Vision that did the same thing. You could be guaranteed once a film was put at number one it would be rented out loads. I used to like putting Norbit at number one on Friday evenings. Then everybody would rent out Norbit.

  2. Lilly

    I suppose people feel if a guy like him can do it, anyone can. So they buy it looking for step-by-step guidance. They’d be better off buying Fooled by Randomness.

    1. InGen

      Call it intellectual snobbery *if you must*, but I can’t imagine the readership overlap between GSD and FBR would be all that great.

  3. rotide

    Maybe if you keep running stories about him and calling him ‘controversial’ the book will sell even more.

  4. Drogg

    He is not a tech messiah all he did was start a website and he did none of the tech work on it.

  5. ArtVandelay

    I lovin dublin on the way out? I see that they haven’t had one of their lovin boxes in a while and now they just relaunched them aimed at the corporate market. Bit shit for someone who’s got a monthly subscription

  6. pedeyw

    Please stop covering him. Ignore him entirely, it’s the only way to make him go away.

  7. Langer

    I know the thread is about book#1but book#2 is JK Rowling in disguise (as a man!)……

  8. Planet of the Missing Biros

    There’s plenty of impressionable idiots out there who will buy it. But this is an ego project i would imagine and he’s not going to make any money worth talking about. You need to be selling huge numbers internationally to make anything decent from books.

  9. Todd

    Horrible person. He threw out the depression article at the time of the book launch to simply gain pity sales. Disgraceful.

    1. Crisyroo

      I had a mild annoyance with him up until then, but when I saw he was willing to use something like that for publicity it turned into anger.

      I remember reading a comment on the apology post on Lovin’ Dublin on the kids jumping in the river that was incredibly insightful. Basically drawing attention to the fact that he is a growth hacker and will test the waters, at appropriate times, on whatever is in the news cycle. He does those by posting articles with multiple controversial keywords, topics and opinions until he finds one that will drive traffic. Hence the timely post on his mental health issues at the launch of his book.

      I must add I have worked with mental health orgs a lot and it is a spectrum not just bad and good and something people will struggle with from time to time in their life, but I just don’t trust the guy, he is disingenuous.

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