Piers Morgan has 8 million followers but only sold 5650 copies of his book, lol

Celebrities at the ITV studios

The New York Times had an interesting article this week: “Millions of Followers? For Book Sales, ‘It’s Unreliable.’” The article is about how all of these wildly popular social media personalities with millions of followers are getting book contracts and then… hardly anyone buys their books. As in, social media followers are an unreliable metric in assessing whether or not someone’s book should be published. Buried within the article is a priceless little publishing fact about Piers Morgan, who has millions of followers on Twitter:

The journalist and media personality Piers Morgan had a weaker showing. Despite his followers on Twitter (8 million) and Instagram (1.8 million), “Wake Up: Why the World Has Gone Nuts” has sold just 5,650 print copies since it was published a year ago, according to BookScan.

It’s difficult to know why this happens. Sometimes, publishing and marketing executives say, there is a mismatch between what people post about on social media and the subject of their books. Perhaps the books don’t provide anything beyond what they’ve already put on Instagram. It could be that the author hasn’t pushed the book to his followers effectively, or that those followers (the ones who aren’t bots, or paid for) aren’t terribly engaged with what he posts.

[From The NY Times]

Eight million followers on Twitter and he can only sell less than 6,000 copies of his book, from the Hysterical Shouty Petulant White Man collection? The thing is, I feel like the Piers situation is an outlier – here in America, the shouty petulant white men do sell a lot of books. Think: Bill O’Reilly, who is a pretty successful author, all things considered. So is Piers Morgan’s online “support” a mile wide and an inch deep? Does he have millions of bot-followers? Or here’s another theory: the people who genuinely like what Piers has to say know that they can get his bile for free on Twitter and on the Mail Online. Why pay for something that he’ll scream at you for free? Of course, there’s the Occam’s Razor explanation too: Piers’ book sucks and no one wants to read it.

piers morgan palace

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Piers’ IG.

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70 Responses to “Piers Morgan has 8 million followers but only sold 5650 copies of his book, lol”

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  1. Mishka says:

    Is that a lobotomy scar on his head in the gate photo?

  2. MerlinsMom1018 says:

    Not difficult to know why really. Just because you’re unhinged bat shit crazy on the socials and have a gazillion followers there doesn’t mean you can write a book. 🤷

    • Rapunzel says:

      And if your book is just more of the same rants your followers get for free, why should they spend the money?

      • MerlinsMom1018 says:

        I agree totally. But this IS piers morgan. Just like the disgraced orange disaster, his followers will swallow whatever sh*t he vomits

      • observer says:

        @Merlins but didn’t He Who Is Orange And Must Not Be Named actually manage to sell books?

      • Veronica says:

        Exactly. Why buy the whole pig when all you want is a sausage?

    • BeanieBean says:

      Plus, reading an entire book takes work; I don’t think his followers would want to put in the work.

      • Galina says:

        It would be a lovely story, but I think they used the US numbers only. In the UK he sold about 300000 copies (ebooks included) and was among the top of the Sunday Times bestseller list for many many weeks. Would be nice if it was true though.

      • Lemons says:

        @Galina, this makes more sense. The Privileged Angry White Man demographic is absolutely saturated here in the US. I’m sure his US followers would buy a book from Trump(s), Ben Shapiro, Joe Rogan, or any of the MAGA and GOQ politicians.

        Piers is British with less of a foothold here in the States.

    • observer says:

      let’s not pretend Piers wrote his own book

    • Judy bridges says:

      Actually he can write. He’s a journo and his behind the scenes as chief editor at the mirror back in the noughts was fun. Can’t remember what it was called. He was against the war in Iraq too and back then I quite liked him. He’s deteriorated a lot. I can’t bear him now.

      • observer says:

        being able to write well in a journalistic style does not always translate into being able to write an appealing or well-written book

      • Sofia says:

        Two words: Milly Dowler. Two other words: Phone Hacking.

      • Amy Bee says:

        @Judy bridges: While he was doing all that fun writing, he was paying people to hack other people’s phones and during his early days he was a raging homophobe. So it’s not a matter of him deteriorating, he was always terrible.

      • Zappos Brannigan says:

        Ah yes, back when he published those faked images of British soldiers torturing Iraqi prisoners. Yet Harry and Meghan are the ones who are disrespectful to everything Britain stands for.

    • MerlinsMom1018 says:

      I really don’t know about the orange disaster and his book sales tbh. It wouldn’t surprise me if he bought every copy to hand out as party gifts tho, just to show inflated sales 🤷

      • BothSidesNow says:

        That was my reaction to his abysmal sales numbers!! He bought 5k copies and the rest were sold on the $1.00 stand, way in the back of bookstores.

        How does it feel to be a hack not only as a TV anchor but as an author as well Piss?

    • dc says:

      Is anyone sure that his number of followers isn’t padded out by bots???

  3. Rapunzel says:

    Curious how many digital copies were sold? Not that I think the number will be high, but only having print copies doesn’t tell the whole story.

  4. observer says:

    maybe it has something to do with population size? you are correct in your observation that here in the US, Shouty White Angry Men books DO sell. but think about the size of salt isle – where piers main fanbase resides – compared to the US and his equivalents over here. he’s not relevant here, even if someone somewhere (maybe even piers) thinks he might be.

  5. Aud says:

    Maybe his fans simply don’t really enjoy reading.

  6. Royalle says:

    I’d buy it

  7. Amy Bee says:

    I think it’s a combination of factors. Most of his followers are probably bots – this is a guy who was hacking people’s phone, after all and a lot of his followers are not really fans, they just follow for the drama. I think his engagement has dropped since he left GMB. His tweets don’t get the attention they used to get when he was on the show. Plus, I think there’s only loud minority that actually agrees with his views. They are the people who bought his book.

    • Becks1 says:

      Agree with all this. Between bots and the people who follow him just for the drama, he probably doesn’t have that many real fans, and if he was planning on promoting the book on GMB and hasnt been able to do so, and his tweets aren’t getting that much engagement anymore…..

      Besides, why buy something when he’s going to scream it at me for free on twitter and the Daily Mail?

      • Amy Bee says:

        @Becks: His book came out last year so I’d be surprised if he didn’t get to promote it on GMB. But I agree that his fans probably weren’t interested in buying his book knowing they could get his terrible takes on twitter for free.

  8. Dutch says:

    Bots don’t buy books.

    • Sid says:

      Yup. One of those tracking sites showed that over 30% of his followers are fake. Pathetic.

      • observer says:

        even if that’s true (i believe it) if 60% of his followers or more bought the book the numbers would be higher. there are other factors aside from bots imho

  9. Magick Wanda says:

    Bots aren’t real and trolls that spend all day giving him Twitter likes don’t have money to spend on books and don’t really read. That is my guess as to why he has sold so few books.

  10. Sofia says:

    It’s easy enough to follow a guy, like his tweets and read his articles but not so easy to buy a book and spend your money on it, especially when, as this article points out, you can get it from free online.

  11. MA says:

    The success of The Bench must really hurt his feelings

  12. ThatsNotOkay says:

    Didn’t this clown claim to be a New York Times bestselling author?

    • observer says:

      you can literally just buy your way on to the NYT bestselling list can’t you? don’t lots of people do that?

      but he…didn’t?

      • Alarmjaguar says:

        Yep, and a lot of organizations will buy books to give out at events, etc. and then write off the purchase as a tax credit. This boosts the book sales high enough to the best seller list (5,000 in one week), but who knows if the receivers read them – I think there’s sometimes a symbol on the list itself that designates this kind of bulk purchase. Here’s what an article on lithub by Emily Temple says: Despite all the confusion, it’s not super hard to buy 5,000 books in a single week—if you already have the money—which could send your book to the top of the charts, depending on the week in question. This isn’t illegal, but it is gaming the system, or even cheating, if you will, and the New York Times list will sometimes include a dagger next to books they suspect might owe their placement to “strategic bulk purchases.”

      • observer says:

        thanks for refreshing my memory AlarmJaguar, i had read an article about this at some point but it was a while ago.

        anyway, are we supposed to then infer that Piers can’t afford to buy his way on to the list? lol

      • Mrswhit says:

        Typically someone else buys the books, as a way of building your cred so you can act as a mouthpiece for them.

  13. Anna says:

    Couldn’t have happened to a more deserving person.

  14. Courtney says:

    The people who follow Piers are just the kind of people who feed off of negative energy. That have no deep interest in investing in Piers. They’re not fans of him in a way that makes a person want to understand and engage with what he offers. He gives them what they want with the hate he spews for free. The last thing they want is to read a book or engage on any further level.

  15. Lili says:

    i think its more down to influencer culture doesnt really work un the UK, i think you have to be more than to parahrase one radio host a Gob on a stick, Piers is a pretty one dimensional talking head on a stick, and while he might have huge engagement on twitter what else is there to him, and why should anyone care about his take on woke culture.i bet Jeremy clarkson would sell more books

    • observer says:

      totally agree with your observation about influencer culture! and Jeremy Clarkson would absolutely sell more books lol

  16. RN says:

    Mighty brave of you to think his followers can or want to read.

  17. nina says:

    I guess there goes the last chance of making it big in the US.
    If you cant even sell 10 000 books, what do you have to offer that will make you a viable bet in the crowded US media market.

  18. LBB says:

    Same with Chris Christie’s new book, hardly any copies sole, lol.

  19. SuSuSusio says:

    Remember: many of the books “written” by the Far Right (no, not written by them at all; always by ghost writers) have huge sales because thousands of copies are purchased by far right organizations who give them out as gifts if you make a contribution to a specific campaign or PAC or the RNC. Or a phony charity.

  20. L4Frimaire says:

    Why would someone buy his screeds when they can get it for free? The fact is he built himself up the last few years attacking Meghan Markle, so unless he writes some incel book attacking her and other women with his obsessive misogyny and racism, no one will pay for his putrid opinions. Even if he has valid criticisms, such as the UK govt approach to Covid, his track record of unethical behavior completely buries it. You know who has a NY Times Bestseller… HRH the Duchess of Sussex.

  21. Eleonora says:

    Twitter has lots of trolls.
    Some follow all kinds of people that they don’t even like, just for the drama.
    Just like some anti-Trump people following him so they got updates quickly.

    Others just followed him because he said 1 thing they liked once, but don’t really care that much otherwise
    It’s a bit similar to artists that get played on radio a lot, but almost nobody goes to their concerts.

  22. Bookie says:

    Let’s hope Mark Meadows’ book does equally as bad.

  23. Jumpingthesnark says:

    So the other 7.5 million are generated from a bot farm! Right, got it!

  24. Eurydice says:

    Tweets are short; books are long.

  25. Robin Samuels says:

    I listened to the podcast when the guest who wrote the book (Art of the Deal) for Donald Trump admitted it was his greatest regret.
    Bots are real and can be purchased. Their English semantics are poor. They operate on trigger words so often, they make scripted comments that don’t pertain to the subject of the conversation. Social Dilemma on Netflix is a documentary everyone who uses social media should watch.
    Research has shown that 30% of Morgan’s followers are Bots. The remainder is those who hate Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, or lonely hearts who spend hours per day on social media because they love engaging in hatred. I refuse to read or listen to anything coming from him, and digital books cost as much as the print version. He’s very much involved in the phone-hacking allegations.

  26. DenTom says:

    Reeks of “celebrity incel.”

  27. Mrswhit says:

    Typically wealthy donors buy the pundit books as a back door payout to folks who act as convenient mouthpieces. They then try to donate the books to groups, but the books are often refused as a burden. Piers is a burden, so one assumes his book is as well.

  28. jo73c says:

    I guess the 7,994,000 bots you pay to support you can’t actually buy the book.