Jose Canseco isn’t making the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. But get used to this--he is making the Athlete Author Hall of Fame. It’s time for me to finally admit it: Jose Canseco might go down as the most successful athlete author of all time.
When “Juiced” came out, I said it wouldn’t do well because it was Canseco after all and he wasn’t credible. Then, of course, it turned out that it was everyone else who wasn’t credible. The joke was on us and Canseco’s book found itself on the New York Times bestseller list for eight weeks.
After the Mitchell report came out, I would have put money on Canseco’s sequel “Vindicated” doing really poorly. In fact, Canseco’s original publisher Berkley Books, got cold feet and pulled out in Januaryafter Canseco’s co-author left the project and they worried about potential book sales.
Yet the folks at Simon Spotlight, a Simon & Shuster imprint, picked it up and it’s been incredible to see the amount of headlines Canseco has generated from this thing. It might have been uncomfortable for Canseco, but how awesome must it have been for the publishers to learn that their author was confronted by Major League Baseball investigators in the green room of a Manhattan bookstore while awaiting a signing?
These books are also the types of books that people don’t buy once the juicy parts come out. So once Joe Lavin, a Boston-based freelance writer stumbled upon a copy and released the best parts to the world five days before “Vindicated” was supposed to hit shelves, I once again, doubted Canseco.
But I’ve been watching the Amazon sales ranking numbers. On April 1st, the day the book officially came out, “Vindicated” was in the 400s. It soon dropped into the 300s. Yesterday, it made its debut into the 200s. And this morning, at 10 am ET, it was the lowest I had ever seen it at No. 179.
Many whistleblowers themselves aren’t the most credible people in the world to begin with. That makes it hard to determine whether their stories are going to sell. The people that bet that Jose Canseco’s story would sell the second time can now call themselves geniuses.
Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com