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December 10, 2009

Physics book gets sales boost after Tiger Woods crash

Posted at 2:46 PM by Anne Szeker | Categories: Tiger Woods

Woods-cadillac-9_280 Watch out Oprah, it looks like you're not the only one with the power to impact book sales.

Last week, the Florida Highway Patrol released photos from Tiger Woods's car crash. In one photo (right), a book could be seen: "Get a Grip on Physics." Shortly after that, the now out-of-print book rose up the Amazon.com best-seller rankings, moving from 396,224 to 2,268th, AFP reported.

"I'm delighted by the publicity, but chagrined that it wasn't a book that is still in print," [author Doctor John Gribbin] told AFP. "There were only a couple of hundred copies left in stock, and they all went in a day or so.

"Now it sells second-hand for 75 dollars, but of course I get nothing from that. I don't even have any spare copies to put on eBay myself!," he added. ...

The Briton also noted that the book had since slipped back down the best-seller rankings, after available copies had been exhausted.

"The sales spurt was not as impressive as it seems, because Amazon compiles these lists hour by hour, so if you sell a dozen in an hour you shoot up the charts," he said.

By Thursday the book stood at 127,820 on the Amazon.com best-seller list, while several copies were available for bids on eBay, at least one of them described as "Get a Grip on Physics -- Tiger Woods".

The book covers the "new physics of the second half of the 20th century -- quarks, string, and so on," said Gribbon. It's unclear if the book is somehow connected to Tiger's golf success, or if his children are in the advanced track at daycare. But Gribbon suggested that the book is "designed to dip in to, not to read from cover to cover."

(Photo: Florida Highway Patrol)

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