Writers Tricks of the Trade Volume 7, Issue 4 Winter 2018 - Page 24
OTHER BOOKS WITH 'FIRE AND FURY'
IN THE TITLE EXPERIENCE SPIKE BECAUSE
OF MICHAEL WOLFF'S TRUMP BOOK
S OURCE : N EWSWEEK
ZACH SCHONFELD says
in his January 9, 2018 Newsweek article that sales of books with titles simi-
lar to Fire and Fury have increased since Michael Wolff’s book was released. Sort of an author’s dream,
Randall Hansen's book was languishing in obscurity. Fire and Fury: The Allied Bombing of Germany,
1942-1945, was Hansen's history of the American and British bombing campaign during World War II. His
book was published nearly 10 years ago and since it caters to the fairly niche group of readers interested in
military history, it was no surprise that sales in January 2018 were not brisk. After all, the academic publish-
ing market is often a bit slow, and the book is 10 years old.
According to Schonfeld, Hansen, a professor of political science at the University of Toronto, said, "It
wasn't selling very well at all. These Amazon bestseller lists, you associate with the early days of a book,
when it's fresh off the press and you're doing all the interviews and hitting the TV spots."
Hansen decided to check his sales on Amazon and was amazed to find his book's popularity exploded
overnight. "Boom—it shot right up,” said Hansen. The day [Michael] Wolff's book came out, it was on three
Amazon bestseller lists: military history, strategy and aviation."
It didn’t take a slick detective to figure out what happened. Elementary, my dear Watson. Mi-
chael Wolff's tell-all account of the Trump presidency, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, attract-
ed such a deluge of interest that people mistakenly purchased other books with "Fire and Fury" in the title,
causing their authors to react with first confusion and then delight.
Fire and Fury: How the US Isolates North Korea, Encircles China and Risks Nuclear War in Asia, written
by T. J. Coles, an English scholar who is director of the Plymouth Institute for Peace Research, also saw a
slight increase in sales in the U.K. (The book will be published in the U.S. in February.)
Coles said, "In sub-categories [such as] peace studies or arms control, it has gone to number one. I think
it's a shame that it took a mainstream journalist to get me some inadvertent attention. But it's good that
he's getting publicity for his book. I think it's good for both of us."
Hansen tweeted about the turn of events, musing about whether he will "owe a larger royalty check to
Bannon & Trump."
READ THE FULL NEWSWEEK ARTICLE COMPLETE WITH COMMENTS
W INTER 2018
P AGE 16
W RITERS ’ T RICKS OF THE TRADE