Actors-Turned-Authors: How Many Copies Did They Sell?

We always hear about those gargantuan celebrity book deals … but we rarely find out how those books actually fared on the shelf. The results may surprise (or sadden, or maybe even satisfy) you. According to industry analyst Nielsen BookScan, which tracks sales from most major retailers, here are some of the biggest winners and losers:

 

Bossypants by Tina Fey (2011, autobiographical humor): 921,856 copies sold

 

L.A. Candy by Lauren Conrad (2009, young adult fiction): 430,597 copies sold

 

sTORI Telling by Tori Spelling (2008, autobiography): 370,721 copies sold

 

 

Miles to Go by Miley Cyrus (2009, autobiography): 261,601 copies sold

 

The Truth About Diamonds: A Novel by Nicole Richie (2005): 122,528 copies sold

 

Total Recall by Arnold Schwarzenegger, with Peter Petre (October 2012, autobiography): 52,183 copies sold

 

 Modelland by Tyra Banks (2011, YA fiction): 32,564 copies sold

 

Palo Alto by James Franco (2010, short-story collection): 25,881 copies sold

 

CelebraTORI by Tori Spelling (April 2012, party-planning manual): 18,142 copies sold

 

Here’s the Situation by Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino and Chris Millis (2010, self-help): 17,369 copies sold

 

 

Getting the Pretty Back by Molly Ringwald (2010, nonfiction/self-help): 14,999 copies sold

 

Red Carpet Suicide by Perez Hilton and Jared Shapiro (2009, humorous nonfiction): 13,881 copies sold

 

Priceless: A Novel by Nicole Richie (2010): 13,758 copies sold

 

Red Hats by Damon Wayans (2010, fiction): 11,483 copies sold

 

When It Happens to You: A Novel in Stories by Molly Ringwald (August 2012): 6,254 copies sold

 

Hooking Up With Tila Tequila by Tila Tequila with Sarah Tomlinson (2008, self-help): 5,882 copies sold

 

Gorilla Beach: A Novel by Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi (May 2012): 3,445 copies sold

 

 

The Boy With Pink Hair by Perez Hilton (2011, picture book): 2,855 copies sold

 

A version of this piece is in the May/June edition of Writer’s Digest, which features our Pain-Free Guide to Revision, along with our annual 101 Best Websites for Writers list and an interview with self-pub sensation Hugh Howey. Check it out here. (All credit images above copyright Amazon.com.)

Zachary Petit is the senior managing editor of Writer’s Digest magazine.

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Successfully starting and finishing a publishable novel can be like fighting a series of battles—against the page, against one’s own self-doubt, against rebellious characters, etc. Featuring timeless, innovative, and concise writing strategies and focused exercises, this book is the ultimate battle plan and more—it’s Sun Tzu’sThe Art of War for novelists.

 

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