Omarosa Manigault Newman has hit all of the morning talk shows, released scandalous tapes, and made some serious accusations against the United States president she worked for over an 11-month period and has known for 15 years. But her book isn’t exactly burning up the sales charts.
Compare that to eight months ago when Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury was the first book to offer a behind-the-scenes peek into the current administration and quickly became the bestselling nonfiction release in five years. Then James Comey’s A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership came out in April and the book’s publisher, ordered 850,000 copies to meet the demand.
So what’s keeping Unhinged from topping the charts? It’s hard to pinpoint a cause, but there are a few theories.
First, Omarosa has long presented herself as a loose cannon. On The Apprentice, she was the pot stirrer, who blindsided fellow contestants and fully embraced the role of reality show villain. Whether that’s her true nature or not, it’s how many Americans envision her, which could impact her credibility to readers.
Also, the growing number of tell-alls could be causing reader fatigue. What was scintillating a year ago is either known now or not as dramatic. Also, the string of accusations that play out in the daily news cycle could be draining people of their taste for gossip.
Or, it’s possible that the controversy surrounding previous books has dulled the appetite for them. Some of Wolff’s facts didn’t hold up under scrutiny (to the point where the author was repeatedly parodied on Saturday Night Live). And Comey lost some credibility with readers after an inspector general’s report in June.
Unhinged is hardly a flop, but it seems unlikely at present that it will reach the sales numbers publisher Simon & Schuster was hoping for.