She may have revelled in participating in “reality television”, but when it comes to the reality of sales figures, Mid Bedfordshire’s Tory MP (yes, it’s her again) Nadine Dorries is not a happy bunny. Her debut novel, The Four Streets, which attracted some less than complimentary reviews, has been the subject of relentless promotion, not least by Herself Personally Now, but seemingly to no avail.
One look at Amazon tells you all you need to know: the paperback version is already out there, less than a month after the hard cover premiered. A hardback copy can be had for £3.99. And the Kindle version is now going at 20p a throw, which means that author and publisher are not exactly raking in the dosh, and suggests that demand for the product is not exactly buoyant.
With this background, a report in the International Business Times titled “Conservative MP Nadine Dorries' Novel The Four Streets Fails to Rack up Sales” should have come as no surprise. The article goes on “Television appearances and interviews with various media outlets, as well inundating her social media followers with constant updates, has not helped the book's faltering sales”.
This analysis did not find favour with the fragrant Nadine: “Major supermarket has re-ordered twice in two weeks, it’s 20 on Amazon Kindle UK, 4 in Australia. Are you paid to lie?” she snarked. Well, if anyone was suffering an incendiary trouser situation, it wasn’t the IB Times. In any case, none of what Ms Dorries asserts deals in absolute numbers, rather than hints and comparisons.
Fortunately, Andy McSmith has those numbers: “Nadine Dorries has been assiduous in promoting her new novel, The Four Streets. It is the first in a projected series of three for which her publishers, Head of Zeus, reportedly paid a six-figure advance. Now, three weeks after the book first appeared in the shops and on Amazon, the sales figures are in four digits. At the latest count, it has sold 1,154 copies”.
Ouch! Is that a misprint? Well, no it isn’t: usvsth3m has also pitched that figure, and observed “It seems that, as fiction-writing MPs and former MPs go, she’s certainly no Jeffrey Archer, or Louise Mensch/Bagshawe”. Double Ouch! Triple Ouch! The feature notes “It’s a shame that her clear aptitude for fictional blogging doesn’t translate into a similar flair for novel-length prose”.
So it looks like The Four Streets is heading for the remainder bin, and Head of Zeus for a significant loss, and with two more books still to come. Meanwhile, back at the day job, Zelo Street hears rumblings from Mid Bedfordshire suggesting grassroots discontent with the behaviour of their MP. With a General Election coming up next year, one has to wonder if she has her priorities right.
More fun news from planet Dorries is anticipated in the near future. Stay tuned!