‘Down the Rabbit Hole,’ a tell-all about Hugh Hefner’s empire by ex-Playboy bunny Holly Madison, has become an instant best-seller
Mark Armao writes: A juicy tell-all memoir by former Playboy bunny Holly Madison has become one of this summer’s surprise best sellers. Ms. Madison joins a growing list of unlikely authors including “Humans of New York” creator Brandon Stantonand YouTube makeup sensation Michelle Phan who have leveraged large social media followings into best-selling books.
“In her book, Ms. Madison writes that her experience at the mansion was a far cry from the glamorous, carefree lifestyle depicted in the show.”
“Down the Rabbit Hole: Curious Adventures and Cautionary Tales of a Former Playboy Bunny” is described in the author’s note as the “never-before-told story of the Playboy Mansion and the man that holds the key.” The title debuted at No. 1 on The Wall Street Journal’s latest best-selling books list, which uses data provided by Nielsen BookScan. As of Thursday afternoon, the book was No. 7 on Amazon’s ranking.
“It’s been a really big surprise,” Ms. Madison said. “I thought it would be a sleeper, and that people would read it and tell their friends about it, and that it would be kind of a slow growth. I never expected this kind of attention in the beginning.”
Published by Dey Street Books, an imprint of HarperCollins, the book’s first announced print run was 100,000 copies. Strong preorder demand led the publishers to go back to press multiple times before the book’s June 23 release, according to publisher Lynn Grady. HarperCollins is owned by NewsCorp., which owns Dow Jones & Co., the publisher of The Wall Street Journal. Since its release last week, the book has sold more than 23,000 hardcovers, according to Nielsen BookScan.
“She describes Mr. Hefner as a ‘controlling megalomaniac’ who enforced a strict 9 p.m. curfew for his harem of ‘girlfriends’ and forbade them from fraternizing with mansion staffers.”
Ms. Madison’s career richly demonstrates the opportunities available in today’s social-media-fueled, reality-TV star-making machinery. The 35-year-old former model grew up in a small town in Oregon before making her way to Los Angeles to become an actress.
She was working as a waitress at Hooters before becoming a regular at Playboy pool parties, eventually earning the title of Hugh Hefner’s No. 1 girlfriend. Read the rest of this entry »