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Most of the nation’s bookstores are not friendly to conservative authors. Many stores have outright banned the selling of books written by people like Mark Levin and Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene.
One of my books was removed by The New York Times Bestsellers List because it did not meet their criteria – even thought it was one of the top 10 bestselling books in the country.
Regardless, I’m a huge fan of independent bookstores. And when I moved back home to Memphis I became a regular customer at Novel Memphis. Great bookstore. Terrific restaurant. But liberal to the core.
Still, they support local authors and host a number of book signings for writers with big followings and small. I respect that.
And I was especially excited when I asked if they would host a signing for my newest book, “Twilight’s Last Gleaming: Can America Be Saved.” I figured it would be a great opportunity to introduce my vast audience to my beloved local bookstore.
But I was turned down – rather unceremoniously by email. There would be no book launch celebration. There would be no book signing.
Novel Memphis is telling my readers that it’s because my political books don’t sell. That’s simply not true – and I have the BookScan data and royalty checks to back that up.
The average book in America sells about 500 copies. Mine sell more than 10,000 copies. It’s not John Grisham, but it’s nothing to sneeze at.
“Twilight’s Last Gleaming: Can America Be Saved?” is a wild ride through the Biden Administration’s policies. There’s a lot of humor, inspiration and thought-provoking issues stuffed into the book. And I think folks are going to love it.
I was inspired by a speech delivered by former President Reagan who noted once that our national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner” actually raised a series of questions. “Oh, say can you see by the dawn’s early light?”
President Trump graciously offered his commentary on my new book:
“Todd Starnes is a fierce defender of freedom and a great patriot. He has seen, and understands, what is happening to our country like few others—his book is absolutely terrific, a must read!”
I suspect Novel Memphis’ main issue was with the content of my book – and the guy whose endorsement is on the front cover.
An overwhelming number of their events and signings feature liberals, progressives and radical leftists. They’ve hosted lots of authors who’ve written tomes about racism, homophobia, xenophobia and Black Lives Matter. Conservative authors, not so much.
Novel Memphis is free to decide who they want to do business with. And I respect that – to my core. But as a consumer of books, I too, have a decision. I get to decide where to spend my money. And I’m really struggling because I love that bookstore. That being said, there’s no reason to go where I’m not wanted.
Now, some might argue this is a case of censorship, but I think the broader issue is economics. I wonder if the investors of Novel Memphis are aware that management turned down the opportunity to sell more than 300 hardcover copies of “Twilight’s Last Gleaming” in one night? If you’re doing the math that’s about $7,800 (tax not included).
The good news is that a number of businesses around the city have graciously offered to host our book launch party and it’s going to be a terrific soiree. There’s nothing quite like Southern hospitality.
And maybe it’s time for a much broader conversation about how music, the arts and the literary world have been ghettoizing conservatives. Anyone who does not goose step to their leftist ideology is ostracized — their voices silenced. I seem to remember a time during the last century when that happened, too.