Saturday, March 26, 2016

SHAM keeps plugging (limping?) gamely along.

Odd how SHAM will, for no reason that I can particularly discern, enjoy a minor resurgence now and then. And it's not just that someone writes or tweets about the book and I see a few incremental sales of the softcover*. For a work of nonfiction that managed to easily break no sales records when it debuted (certainly I was never any threat to publishing's guru niche itself), SHAM has proved to have remarkable shelf life; this, even though so many of the specific references are getting pretty dated now, a decade later. 

The book resonates with the people for whom it's going to resonate (how's that for circular thinking!) in ways I hadn't foreseen. I've been contacted by several sociology professors and even one American history prof, all of whom use it as a text in their classes. Also, the book has had surprising traction in the former Brit Empire. And I remain the go-to guy when other journalists need a quote on this or that aspect of the realm.

Anyway, here's a nice plug in a column by Peter Jackson, editor of Newfoundland's The Telegram. Mr. Jackson focuses on (and debunks) what I call Sportsthink. Love the title nod to the Stones.
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* which, in all candor, pretty much tanked upon publication. The hardcover, at least, held its own. It's now out of print.


5 comments:

Cosmic Connie said...

That was a nice plug, and I'm glad you continue to get mentions. One minor quibble, which I'm sure you noticed: SHAM was originally released in 2005, not 2006. More importantly to a point you were making: Even though specific references in SHAM are dated, the basic points are still very relevant.

I self-published my new-age/selfish-help parody "Cosmic Relief" 20 years ago, and while many if not most of its specific references are even more dated, it's still pretty easy to get the jokes. The more things change...

Steve Salerno said...

Thanks for keeping me on my toes, Connie, but he's referring to the UK version, which has a slightly different subhead: how the movement made "America" helpless, rather than "us." It was officially released in '06, I believe. Foreign editions have sold surprisingly well on a per capita basis.

Anonymous said...

Hang in there, Steve. There will yet be a resurgence of SHAM (er... you know what I mean -- I hope).

American narcissism isn't going away -- it is acquiring darker tones and surging toward its inevitable conclusion (don't ask me what it is going to be). Given that, you may have to add new chapters to your book, or write a new one altogether.

Happy belated birthday!

Elizabeth.

Anonymous said...

Are we likely to see an updated version one of these days?

Steve Salerno said...

Highly unlike, Anon, but if you want to start a petition...