J. Michael Bailey's book bombs in the marketplace:

Its Amazon.com sales rankings soon fall below

those of four recent books by trans women!


Report by Lynn Conway

Initially posted 12-12-03


See also the updates below:

03-31-04:  The sinking of the Queen

02-10-06:  Bailey's book is quietly removed from the NAP website

08-02-07:  Updates on sales rankings



The Amazon.com "sales ranks" for books provide us with a measure of the relative recent sales successes of books in the marketplace. The higher a book is in the rankings, the more copies it has sold through Amazon.com within the past few days. These rankings let you follow the sales-rate of a book as it comes onto the market and then how its sales (per unit time) dynamically change over time following its publication. Although many copies of any book are sold by other outlets than Amazon.com (including the publisher itself), nevertheless these sales-rate rankings yield a good measure of the general public market presence and acceptance of a book on an ongoing basis.
As we see in the snapshot below of relative sales ranks on September 9, 2003, four recent books by trans women, She's not there, Wrapped in Blue, Crossing, and Hidden in Plain Sight were all selling copies at a higher rate right than was J. Michael Bailey's book, The Man Who Would be Queen at that time. As time went by, we saw Bailey's book really bomb in the marketplace, as seen in the ongoing updates of the sales rankings of futher below.


 Amaz. Rank:




 Jenny Boylan's She's not there


 Richard Spence (Director) Different for Girls (DVD)


 Donna Rose - Wrapped in Blue


 Mildred Brown True Selve: Understanding Transsexualism


 Deirdre McCloskey's Crossing


 Leslie Townsend's Hidden in Plain Sight


 Kate Bornstein's Gender Outlaw


 Sheila Kirk Feminizing Hormone Therapy for the Transgendered


Joanne Meyerowitz How Sex Changed - A History of Transsexuality


 Bailey's The Man Who Would be Queen


 Chris Bohjalian's Trans Sister Radio


 Calpernia's Mark 947


 Aleshia Brevard's The woman I was not meant to be


Kim Elizabeth Stuart The Uninvited Dilemma



One of the trans women's recent books, Jenny Boylan's She's not there, is selling vastly more copies than is Bailey's book. Furthermore, both Dierdre McCloskey's Crossing and Leslie Townsend's Hidden in Plain Sight are outselling Bailey's book even though they've been on the market for quite a while now. This is all the more remarkable in the case of Leslie Townsend's book, since she self-published it through iuniverse.com and has no active assistance in marketing her book.
In contrast, Bailey has had extremely active assistance by the NAP's publicist Robin Pinnel, who has gone to great lengths to heavily promote Bailey's book on the NAP website, at book fairs, at lectures and book signings by Bailey, and through the media - misrepresenting the book as the "latest science on transsexualism" and as being "highly sympathetic to gay and transsexual men..." (note the deliberate misgendering of trans women as being 'men' on the NAP website, as is also done in the book). However, even with all of Pinnel's professional PR efforts, Bailey's book isn't selling as well as Leslie Townsend's 2002 iuniverse.com bio!
You'll note also that Chris Bohjalian's wonderful 2001 novel Trans Sister Radio is after two years still selling about as many books as Bailey's new book. And Deirdre's book, Crossing, which has been on the market for over three years now is widely outselling Bailey's book! You can imagine where Bailey's book will be in the Amazon.com rankings two or three years from now!
Therefore, Bailey's book is clearly "bombing" in the marketplace, especially compared to what his, his publisher's and his right-wing supporters' hopes must have been for this deliberately "controversial sex-science" book. The book is a total flop in gaining widespread public notoriety, talk-show invites for Bailey, and most importantly - the originally anticipated widespread sales.
The only controversy this book has generated is the controversy surrounding Bailey's impeachment as a scientist, about his research misconduct regarding his research subjects, and about his deliberate caricaturing and misrepresentation of trans women - all of which undoubtedly helped to kill any major sales of his book. If anything, the main reasons some people are still buying the book is out of a curiosity to read this scientific fiasco themselves. And in the process, Bailey's hopes of becoming nationally famous as the "brilliant though controversial Dr.Sex" have been dashed.

However, this does not mean that the book isn't doing a lot of harm out there. A number of copies of the book are going into public and university libraries, where they will be used as references on transsexualism by unsuspecting people who have not heard of Bailey's impeachment as a scientist and of the controversy surrounding his defamations of trans women. Those books will also be used by attorneys for right-wing ideological attacks in court cases involving trans women's rights in the future. The fact that the book has the imprimatur of the National Academy Press will give it automatic credibility as a reference book among the unsuspecting.

Therefore, we must redouble our efforts to bring Bailey's research misconduct and his misrepresentations of trans women to light among the larger public, so that fewer and fewer people in the future will unwittingly take his book's assertions as being the "scientific facts" he claims them to be. For some insights into the bizarre nature of his claims, refer to the following page, which contains direct quotes from his book (with direct links to the pages in the book containing the quotes):



The Sinking of The Queen!

 Amazon Rank:





The re-Sinking of The Queen


Bailey's book sales were suddenly resurrected, and spiked for a couple of days,

after he appeared on ABC's 20/20 on 10-29-04 just four days before the '04 elections.

However, the Queen soon sank back out of sight again:, as we see in these updates:


Updates on Sales rankings:


 Amazon Rank:


















February 10, 2006:

Bailey's book is quietly removed

from the National Academy Press website


The online version of Bailey's book was quietly removed from the National Academy Press site in early 2006. You can confirm this by clicking on this original link to the online book:



We learn the approximate date of this removal from the Internet Archive update page for the book, at the following link:



As you will see at that link (and in a copy of the page below), the Internet Archives contain six entries for the book, beginning on April 24, 2003 and concluding on February 10, 2006. All the entries except the final one contain links to the full text of the book. However, the entry of February 10, 2006 does not contain the text of the book, and instead says "There is no free online version of this book available":



We cannot at this time confirm the various reasons for this removal, but we suspect that a combination of poor sales along with general NAP embarrassment about the book led to its being pulled.  After all, the book has become as an infamous example of the academic and scientific defamation of transsexual women, and has been an ongoing source of public-relations strife for the Academies. 


Meantime, the removal of the book from the National Academy's website presented a problem for us: It's removal could have impeded our efforts to make its contents (and thus its unscientific defamations) easily visible to the trans community, to our allies and supporters, and to other investigators interested in the Bailey case. 


Fortunately, the earlier entries in the Internet Archive captured and retained the full text of the book. Thus our readers can access those pages in the archive and read them for themselves (without buying the book). To do so, simply click on the following link, and you will reach the full text as archived on March 15, 2005:



Thus we can continue to link to various pages in Bailey's book, and show readers the truly bizarre and incredibly defamatory passages it contains, as you'll see in the following report entitled "Direct Quotes from Bailey's Book":







Summary Page for Bailey's book in the Internet Archive:





Here is a copy of the information in that page:



Searched for http://books.nap.edu/books/0309084180/html

6 Results

* denotes when site was updated.

Search Results for Jan 01, 1996 - Dec 31, 2006
1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
0 pages 0 pages 0 pages 0 pages 0 pages 0 pages 0 pages 1 pages 2 pages 2 pages 1 pages
              Apr 24, 2003 *
Oct 19, 2004 *
Dec 18, 2004
Feb 11, 2005 *
Mar 15, 2005
Feb 10, 2006 *




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