Frey Book Sales Survive Oprah Showdown
Jason Merritt/FilmMagic; E. M. Pio Roda/CNN/AP
Once again proving true the old adage that there's no such thing as bad publicity, disgraced author James Frey's A Million Little Pieces is selling strongly in the wake of Thursday's public condemnation of his fabricated memoir on Oprah.
As of Sunday morning, the title remained No. 4 on the Amazon.com bestseller list – the same position it held before Oprah Winfrey told a shell-shocked-looking Frey live on the air that not only did she "feel duped, but, more importantly, I feel you betrayed millions of readers."
In addition, the title is holding its No. 2 position at Barnes & Noble stores and continues its high sales momentum at Borders outlets in Manhattan, reports the New York Post. "It’s selling even better" than before the Oprah appearance, one Borders clerk told the paper.
At the Barnes & Noble in the city's Union Square, someone extended a personal touch to the display of A Million Little Pieces and its successor, Frey's My Friend Leonard, by turning over the books on the rack to hide the covers.
A so-called memoir of drug and alcohol abuse, A Million Little Pieces debuted in 2003 to only moderate sales, then became the second bestselling title of last year, after Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, once Winfrey touted it as her book club pick in September.
The high of the book's incredible success came to a crashing end Jan. 8, however, when the Smoking Gun Web site published a report saying that the author embellished, and even invented, some of his material, including his length of stay in jail.
Dissecting Frey's text in a headline-grabbing episode Thursday, Winfrey asked the author if the Smoking Gun report, titled "The Man Who Conned Oprah," was true. "I think most of what they wrote was accurate," replied Frey, 36. "They did a good job."