America’s Paranormal Inactivity

Richard Wiseman, a British psychology professor and former magician, just put out a cool-seeming book that takes a scientific and skeptical look at all things paranormal. (Here’s Original Skepchick Rebecca Watson’s review of the book.) According to Wiseman’s blog, while the book has been a best seller in the UK, it won’t be getting a hard-copy release in the U.S.

Here’s Wiseman explaining why….

The book has done well in the UK and has been bought by publishers in lots of other countries.  However, the major American publishers were reluctant to support a skeptical book, with some suggesting that I re-write it to suggest that ghosts were real and psychic powers actually existed!

Might be easy to look at this as proof of how silly and superstitious Americans are, but personally I think it’s evidence that publishers are pricks who think their audience is a pack of morons. Stories like this remind me why I’m not particularly concerned that e-books and online piracy are destroying the publishing industry.

Anyway, Wiseman responded by self-publishing the book in America. A Kindle edition is available on Amazon and his UK publisher shipped a “boatload” of physical books across the Atlantic.

However, according to Pharyngula, as of this morning all those ink-and-paper books have sold out. Took about three days. Over a long weekend, no less.

So much for the American public not being able to handle a scientific approach to the paranormal.

Author: Paul Dechene

Paul Dechene is 5'10'' tall and he was born in a place. He's not there now. He's sitting in front of his computer writing his bio for this blog. He has a song stuck in his head. It's "Girl From Ipanema", thanks for asking. You can follow Paul on Twitter at @pauldechene and get live updates during city council meetings and other city events at @PDcityhall.

4 thoughts on “America’s Paranormal Inactivity”

  1. Omigawd. And are they asking anyone writing biology texts to include creationism – sorry, “intelligent design” – in there as well?

    Or did their market research indicate that the only book buyers out there are the paranormalists?

  2. I think that the publishers think that the book will sell better if the book says that ghosts are real, because that is less boring than the opposite conclusion. Or they actually want Americans to be stupid so they buy more crappy stuff.

  3. Just look at the difference in size between the ‘New Age and Occult’ and ‘Science’ sections in most book stores: the science sections are often less than half (sometimes a quarter!) the size.

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