Booksellers love books like Eight Days in September. We love multiple print runs, huge dollops of media attention and controversial authors.
Eight Days in September is now being reprinted two days after it was launched. The next print run is said to be 15,000 copies. To put that in perspective, a bestseller in South Africa is usually about 3,000 copies. Out of the hundreds of books released monthly, I would estimate that less than twenty sell in the thousands. For a non-fiction book about political intrigue to enjoy this kind of publicity and demand is unusual. While some local books have been doing exceptionally well for the last year (Killing Kebble and Springbok Kitchen being prime examples), they don’t usually sell out in two days, no matter how small the initial print run.
Frank Chikane’s tell-all book which chronicles Thabo Mbeki’s 2008 removal from presidency, has caused a strong reaction amongst senior ANC members, says Ngwako Modjadji in The Citizen.
Modjadji suggests that this reaction has to do with Chikane’s claims about the way in which Mbeki was removed from office, an event Chikane says was linked to Jacob Zuma’s corruption case and resembled a coup d’état.
Responding to these claims, ANC spokesperson Keith Khoza says that Mbeki’s removal was a collective decision, and as such had little to do with Zuma.
However, in his book Eight Days in September, Chikane suggests that, while there could be many reasons given to explain Mbeki’s recall, “they do not explain the sudden haste with which it had to be done”:
The launch of the book was a massive success for both Exclusive Books Sandton City and Pan MacMillan SA. The guest list read like a parlimentary attendance register. For all the details, gossip and tweets, visit here.
Win an Eight Days in September eBook! To win, all you have to do is answer the following question: who was the interim president after Thabo Mbeki was removed from the presidency?
Entries close Wednesday 21st of March at 10am. One entry per person.