• When a gift is something else, or how to read the best-seller list Thursday, April 29, 2010

    I know we’re trying to focus mostly on the attorney general and insurance commissioner races over here in the Voir Dire corner, but when something makes you chuckle before you’ve even had your morning coffee, well…

    Remember when Steve Poizner‘s controversial memoir, “Mount Pleasant,” took a surprising run up the best-seller charts a couple of weeks ago? Capitol Weekly reports this morning that hundreds of people may have received the book through Amazon orders they never placed — all done with mysterious gift cards.

    The recipients? Looks to be Republicans and declined-to-states, and some of the recipients traced the gift card purchases back to a San Diego outfit that specializes in book marketing. Explains the Weekly:

    When the New York Times released their bestseller list on April 10, “Mount Pleasant” ranked a lofty No. 5. When the Times updated that list on April 15, it had dropped to No. 33. By April 23, it was off the list. This quick rise and fall, an unusual trajectory for the list, led to speculation that Poizner or his gubernatorial campaign bought up enough copies to boost the book, briefly, to the highest echelons of literary success.

    The idea is that adding “bestselling author” to Poizner’s long list of accomplishments would garner positive press coverage as he tries to come back from a 28-point deficit in this race for the Republican nomination for governor against former eBay CEO Meg Whitman.

    Okay, back to the coffee pot. And thanks, Poizner campaign, for the morning chuckle …

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