Thursday, October 2, 2008

Liked your book. Now, about that title...

As senators, representatives, presidential candidates, lame-duck White House residents, and at least some corporate CEO's are looking for a place to hide or a ledge off of which to jump, David Lereah may be walking around with a paper bag over his head. After all, a couple of years ago, Lereah wrote a book called, Why the Real Estate Boom Will Not Bust -- And How You Can Profit From It.

Of course, as this Wall Street Journal article points out, David Lereah was not the first author to write a book with a title that inaccurately predicted either the end of the world or the coming of Paradise. And sometimes you can make it pay off -- if you don't get too greedy. Steve Gill wrote a book called The Fred Factor about Fred Thompson's highly anticipated presidential campaign and quickly sold through a first printing. Then he ordered up a second printing -- and Thompson's campaign promptly tanked. The well known political analyst Shelby Steele came out with a book last December called, A Bound Man: Why We Are Excited About Obama and Why He Can't Win. One can't help but wonder if Steele is now a strong McCain supporter for reasons that have nothing to do with politics.

However, being the author of a disastrously titled book doesn't automatically mean you will sink into oblivion. Back in 1999, Kevin Hassett wrote a book carrying the now ludicrous title of Dow 36,000. And where is Kevin Hassett today?

He's an economic adviser to John McCain.

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