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David Hogg’s Hyped Book Hit the Market with a Thud

July 20, 2018 - 2:15pm
Authors David and Lauren Hogg
Authors David and Lauren Hogg

It was just over one month ago when we were treated to a new rash of David Hogg sightings. The media outlets flung their doors open and ushered the teen activist to their now-familiar news sets in order to discuss the release of his new book, written with his 14-year-old sister Lauren -- "#Never Again: A New Generation Draws a Line."

It chronicles the Valentine's Day shooting deaths of 14 students and three teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, and how the pair -- along with other students -- aimed to start a revolution to stop gun violence.

The hype began in April, when the press dutifully reported the announcement the Hoggs had signed a book deal with Random House. The ensuing media blitz was part of the larger promotional circuit, which itself generated news. 

The main launch of the book tour began with a visit to “The Tonight Show.” Host Jimmy Fallon is a particular partner for the Hoggs. He has been a supporter of the March For Our Lives movement, and made a surprise appearance at the Douglas High School graduation ceremony.

Proceeds from the sales would be used "to heal the community," David Hogg said, but did not elaborate. The physical release date for the paperback was set for June 5, but the publisher apparently set it back to June 19. Nevertheless, following the weeks of initial hype, there has been little in the way of news, or lingering talk of the book.

A look into the book's sales is a bit of a challenge. For one week the New York Times listed “#Never Again” on its top-10 non-fiction list, but this is a bit of a dubious source. 

For one, the Times’ list is infamous for being more about editorial selections than it is for an accurate reflection of what's popular with readers. Secondly, the paper of record does not provide actual sales figures. I combed through a few weeks of Amazon’s sellers in a few different categories, yet even on their larger top-20, the title does not appear. Likewise at Barnes & Noble. 

It took the figures provided by Publishers Weekly to get a grip on this title’s fortunes. PW provides an even more expanded weekly list, as well as actual sales numbers. On its July 2 tabulation, “#Never Again made its debut on the tertiary Trade Paperback list -- managing to reach the list at No. 25. By that date, the Hoggs' book had sold a total of 3,741 copies. To offer some perspective, the top-selling book that week sold more than 60,000 copies; the top non-fiction paperback, more than 15,000 copies. 

That chart result was a reflection of the Fallon appearance and other tour stops, but by the following week, the book had fallen from the list. It becomes apparent that when it came to buying into the Hogg message, few buyers have pulled the trigger. 

Allowing for some additional weeks, we can probably peg the total by now to around 5,000 copies. The slender volume (it weighs in at 176 pages) retails for $9.95. At best, the book has grossed around $50,000, but that is not the net return for the publisher. The split with retailers, cost of production and shipping, as well as the expense of the book tour, makes the chances of seeing anything approaching a profit a small miracle.

Now understand, I am not applauding here. But it needs to be analyzed that with all the promotional hype afforded this book, it has landed on retail shelves with a thud, and largely remained there. 

Adding up the early hype, reports of the deal, the high-profile media blitz, plus the favorable editorializing from all manner of news sources -- there really has been little interest in what this particular Parkland survivor has to say.

I take the book sales as an indicator: As beloved a figure as David Hogg became in the media during the shooting's aftermath, he actually is not the impactful messenger they hoped for, or insisted he was.

Brad Slager is a Fort Lauderdale freelance writer who wrote this story exclusively for Sunshine State News. He writes on politics and the entertainment industry and his stories appear in such publications as RedState and The Federalist.

Comments

Wish it hurry up sick of the little asshole.

Hogg and the publisher would have been much better off to take the time and care in writing a book that memorialized the victims and examined the failures of the school board and law enforcement in protecting the students and staff. Instead, they rushed out a book that was a knee jerk reaction from a student that probably is suffering PTSD, to further the leftist agenda. I really do hope they make enough $ to pay for the Psych bills. Parkland doesn't need any financial gain to better their community, that's for sure.

He definitely does not have PTSD. He was not even in school grounds when the event happened. Emma Gonzalez was not even in the same building.

Are you guilable or what? He was the one hiding in a closet with others video taping on his phone what was happening! How the heck do you believe he wasn't their??? Listen to other sources. NPR us a good start. They have people on both sides discuss issues rather than conspiracy theories.

He wasn't there

More is coming out on how bad simple security was in that building 10 yrs ago. Money and fame grabber. The shameful thing is how the shooter and the constant calls to law enforcement was swept somewhere else and lower federal money scores for the school if kids were prosecuted or shown to be an issue. That's fraud.

In a school with over 3000 students the media can't find anyone that actually witnessed anything to interview? Sick of seeing his face

Amen

I am not an American, but you may or may not know my family have a lot of relatives down there. If you don't chuck them in jail for not agreeing with you and oh by the way they are republicans (I always thought gee! you cannot possibly agree with this person) I do not get throwing your country under the bus but that seems to be okay with the people who support this person D. Trump - certainly not worth calling President Trump - reserved for people who earned the title . I do think his comment about murdering some one on a main street in New York and it wouldn't matter to the people who would vote for him kind of tells you how far off the concern for your constituents you have gone - actually I don't think republicans care much about ordinary people - more interested in getting those superpacs to promote them and then they will actually ignore th poor people who trusted them and voted them in.

Just wondering what 3rd. World country you are from? Canada? Amazing how you come on here to criticize our country but are a coward to say where you are from. Or did you sneak across the border also?

What does this have to do with Hogg or his book? Trump derangement syndrome is so vital it's victims cannot restrain themselves from inserting their maniacal rants into every topic.

Since he was not at the school when the shooting took place I fail to see how he can write about it.

You are such an ignorant liar, he was at school in his AP class you bloody idiot.

Apparently, you are the bloody idiot because the school records say he was not.

No he was not.

There’s video of him saying he wasn’t at the school...

Why lie? . . . . . . . he was in his AP class on campus when the shooting occurred . . . . . . . he even recorded the scene in his class on his cell phone while this was happening . . . . . . . . . blatant lying or grossly uninformed . . . . . . . . PATHETIC . . .

He had road the bus home

AGAIN, NOT TRUE , , , , , , , , not that you're likely to believe an actual investigation of this lie, but --> . . . . . . . .(FROM FACTCHECK) "One of the latest rumors — circulated in at least a dozen stories flagged as potentially false by Facebook users — claims that David Hogg, a senior named in previous false stories, was not actually at the high school during the shooting. Those stories are indeed false. The allegations are based on an out-of-context quote from Hogg. In a CBS News documentary, the 17-year-old said: “On the day of the shooting, I got my camera and got on my bike and rode as fast as I could three miles from my house to the school to get as much video and to get as many interviews as I could because I knew that this could not be another mass shooting.” With a glaring spelling error in its headline, the website julyfourthnews.com declared on March 28: “David Hogg Unintentially Reveals He Was Not At School When Parkland Shooting Happened.” “SHOCK: David Hogg Changes Story, Wasn’t At School When Cruz Opened Fire,” reads bigleaguepolitics.com’s March 26 headline. But at no point did Hogg ever say that in the CBS News documentary, “39 Days,” or elsewhere. Interviews and videos published in the days after the shooting support Hogg’s narrative that he was at the school when the shooter opened fire and that Hogg went home at some point and returned to the scene later that night. In fact, Hogg, a student journalist and member of the school’s news show, recorded interviews with his peers inside the school as it remained locked down. The Miami Herald published that footage Feb. 15, which shows Hogg asking his fellow students about their views on gun control. Time also published a video on Feb. 15 that was recorded by Hogg during the lockdown. In it, Hogg says “it’s 2:52” and that he “heard one gunshot.” (The shooting reportedly occurred from 2:21 p.m. to 2:28 p.m., and the lockdown was lifted at 3:36 p.m.) “Once we were all in the room and we started seeing the headlines, we realized this was anything but a drill — this was life or death,” Hogg said in a MSNBC interview the day after the shooting. “And that actually was when I started recording. Because I realized that if I died, and if everyone else around me died, I wanted to have our voices heard.” Hogg told MSNBC and Time magazine that he was in an AP environmental science class when the attack occurred. Time reported that Hogg and other students tried to exit the building after a fire alarm went off, but a janitor sent them back. “A culinary arts teacher, Ashley Kurth, pulled Hogg and others inside [a classroom], locked the door, and made them hide in a closet,” Time wrote. Kurth confirmed that account weeks later in a March 30 report by the Associated Press. “I physically grabbed David by the arm and pulled him into my room,” Kurth said. “It is extremely frustrating the kind of information that is being put out there.” In an interview with Vox that was published Feb. 20, Hogg said he rode his bike back to the school at 6 p.m. that night with his camera to do more filming. He was interviewed that night by Fox News. At least some who shared the fictitious claims later realized as much. A writer for the conservative blog RedState, who reported that the CBS video “is casting doubt” on Hogg’s whereabouts during the shooting, retracted her March 26 story and issued a tweet-thread apology. The story’s original headline was changed to read: “UPDATE: CBS Video Confusing. Hogg Was On Campus.” . . . . . . . . . . . to believe otherwise . . . . . . . . . PATHETIC . . .

https://youtu.be/EinxT8Xc8LE

Holy smokes just watched the video from your link! What a fraud. Hes a little doucher but the media really ate him up lol

The same old tired gun control talking points are still stale no matter what fresh face you get to parrot them.

So he has a book? Does it have all his lies in it or just some? He's an author and journalist as much as I am a brain surgeon. He's more pathetic than anything.

I wouldn't wipe my arse with it.

Hogg was a pathetic extreme leftist shooting star due to left wing media promotion. His star has fizzled as demonstrated by Brad Slager's excellent, fact filled article. The left wing nut comments are due to Slager actually practicing journalism instead of the left's favorite, Fake News publications. There's nothing left for Hogg now but drugs and infamy. I'm sure he'll have one more headline as an overdose victim soon. A good epitaph on his tombstone would be 'I called BS on the wrong topic'.

Trying to make a non-message sound like a message can be hard work.

Was looking for Hoggs comments regarding shooting of parent of stident shot by armed robber at hiis store and killed. Ayub Ali. Guess he didn’t have weapon in his store. Sadly robber, guessing felon robber did. And found this artcle. Seems to me that the lime light seeking authoritarian ( as a student at a school where a shooting occurred) recognized by the intellectually undeveloped or impaired fell short on his development as an authority or author. But here I am looking for entertainment of the constitution bashing leftist and found none. 15 min of fame, 60 seconds and gone, and a lifetime stain as a fool. Sad

And exactly what were YOU doing during your senior year in high school, Slager? Any parent would be proud to have a kid like David Hogg. You should be ashamed of your NRA-loving self for picking on a kid!

If I had a kid who'd written a book parroting the same ignorant lies that got a few thousand other kids shot in the back when people took them seriously, then responded to a huge publicity boost from an older woman by threatening her with violence, I'd think seriously about retroactive abortion. At least I'd make the brat change his name and stay away from my home.

I would be ashamed to have a skinny jeans wearing *** like little weak davie piglet.

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