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JFK Assassination Books Will Always Sell

06.05.2013, Books, by .

The 50th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy is this November.  

The Wall Street Journal recently had an article about Skyhorse Publishing and the 37 titles they have on the JFK assassination conspiracies. They are bringing out eight new titles, reprinting 17 and have an existing 12 in print. Type in “JFK Assassination” into the Amazon search engine and almost 1,800 titles appear.

The WSJ goes on to state that Skyhorse is investing over $1-million on bringing all these titles to market. I think it a smart gamble and they will easily make that money back. I would like to see an interactive, illustrated and enhanced eBook that goes over all of the theories. The new digital medium is perfect to visualize it.

In 1991, Oliver Stone produced and wrote his movie JFK. The movie was engaging and a success, but it played loose with the facts. It also created an enormous increase in all books related to the conspiracy.

I was the History category buyer at Waldenbooks then. At that time, WB was the largest book chain in the nation with over 1,200 stores.  One publisher had cornered the market on JFK Assassination books – Carroll & Graf.  I remember Herman Graf would come in and sell me title after title.

The best selling of all the titles were CROSSFIRE and HIGH TREASON. But Herman had books that blamed the Mafia, the CIA, Castro, LBJ, the KKK, the PTA, the NEA, etc. There was even one that stated it wasn’t a conspiracy but an accidental discharge. That last one didn’t sell.

As the History buyer people would always ask, “what is selling?” My pat answer was “JFK Assassination books.” I answered it so often it was automatic.

I was responsible for all history titles. One of them was a book called THE LAST TSAR – THE LIFE AND DEATH OF NICHOLAS II. The book did very well and the editor wanted to call me to thank me. I knew this because the Doubleday rep, Bebe Cole, called ahead of time and wanted to ensure I was at my desk.

The phone rang and I answered it. The editor of the book about Tsar Nicholas was on the line.  She thanked me for my support and also asked the basic question, “what is selling these days.” I started to give my pat answer of JFK Assassination titles but I stopped myself. I just replied, “books about the presidents always sell.”

The editor who called me?

Jackie Kennedy Onassis.




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