David Lereah & His Ill Fated Book
The Wall Street Journal reports on book's whose title's quickly became ridiculous as events unfolded.
"Obviously I would change the title," says David Lereah, the former chief economist of the National Association of Realtors and author of "Why the Real Estate Boom Will Not Bust -- And How You Can Profit From It," published in paperback in February 2006. "There are places in the book where I actually say the boom is not healthy. But people don't read the book, and they just look at the title and they criticize it."At least his book is now historic memorabilia for the housing bubble.
That doesn't sit well with authors, who often blame their publishers when books are overtaken by events. "We argued back and forth," says Mr. Lereah, the real-estate author, who says he didn't want the titles to be so bold. "But you know, I'm a big boy, I agreed to what they told me to do and you've got to live with it," he adds.
Doubleday Business, Mr. Lereah's publisher and a unit of Random House, confirmed that the book's titles were suggested by the publishing team but said that they were based on his reasoning.
"In retrospect, everyone was fooled," says Roger Scholl, editorial director for Doubleday Business. "I would certainly say I was fooled. No one saw what was going to happen with real estate."
Mr. Lereah's book was served up in hardcover in February 2005 with the title "Are You Missing The Real Estate Boom? Why Home Values and Other Real Estate Investments Will Climb Through the End of the Decade -- And How to Profit From Them." That edition sold 12,000 copies.
It was downhill from then. The paperback sold 2,300 copies in 2006 and 250 in 2007, according to Nielsen BookScan. So far this year, it's notched just 20 sales, Nielsen says.