From the New York Times:

In its two months on the market, Sylvia Ann Hewlett’s book “Creating a Life: Professional Women and the Quest for Children” has generated the kind of publicity authors and publishers usually only dream of.
The book was featured on “60 Minutes” and the cover of Time and New York magazines. It was promoted on “Oprah,” “Today,” “Good Morning America” and the “NBC Nightly News.” It was debated on the editorial and op-ed pages of The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle and The New York Times.
But there’s one place you will not find a mention of Ms. Hewlett’s book: the best-seller lists. The most talked-about book in America, which raises the specter that women who sacrifice families for careers might wake up childless at 45, is hardly selling at all. (…)
Manhattan publishers, especially those at Talk Miramax, which paid a six-figure advance for the book and printed 30,000 hardcover copies, are considering the possible causes: a generic title, an ambiguous cover, the failure of the news media to appreciate the nuances of Ms. Hewlett’s research. But out on the front lines, at the bookstores where publicity turns to sales– or does not– the explanation is all too simple: women are just not interested in shelling out $22 for a load of depressing news about their biological clocks.

The funny thing is that I remember the spate of articles (Time comes to mind). In fact, I had quite a few lively discussions with my husband and then also with some of my girlfriends about the findings on fertility, etc. I just never remembered the title of the book, and frankly the findings were so stunning that it sent us thinking about our own specific lives rather than going out to get the book. Now they’re blaming the marketing campaign for focusing on that infertility angle, and they’re thinking of doing another campaign on “having it all” (which is the opposite of the book’s message, I should imagine.)

The Talk of the Book World Still Can’t Sell


Comments are closed.

  • Twitter

  • Category Archives

  • Monthly Archives