Amazon Creates Heat Map Of Political Book Sales
Amazon is quick to point out that "books aren't votes," but if they were, Obama wouldn't stand a chance in November according to the online retailer's new heat map of political book sales. Updated every day, today's map features five lonely blue spots (New York, Vermont, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and DC) in a sea of red. Even liberal strongholds such as Washington and Maine have a rosy flush.
To generate the map, updated daily, Amazon simply puts books into one of three categories: neutral, conservative or liberal, then tallies up sales based on shipping address. It seems pretty straightforward, so why does the map look like Carrie after the prom?
I'm not sure, but could hazard a few hypotheses:
The most obvious explanation is that conservatives simply read more partisan political books than their liberal counterparts.
Another factor to consider is that Amazon's classifications of blue and red books seem a little fast and loose at times. They not only use the book's marketing to determine its color, but also user-generated tags. The number one red book, for example, is Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination That Changed America Forever. Granted, it was written by unfair and unbalanced Bill O'Reilly, but it is a book that could see decent sales among readers from both parties.
- Republicans are churning out sensationalistic books about Obama's ineptitude, much like the Dems did during the Bush era, and the red top twenty is filled with these books. They have a flair for the dramatic ("Obama will destroy the country!" See also, "The sky is falling!"), and the dramatic sells. The top blue books, because the party is currently in power, tend to have a broader scope: feminism, atheism, racism, the American school system, that sort of thing. Less thrilling to our Real Housewives and Shades Of Grey society.
Those are just my thoughts. You may disagree. Why do you think the map looks like it does?
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