Murder Rap, the book written by former LAPD detective Greg Kading implicating Sean Combs and Suge Knight in the slayings of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls, officially came out today.
So much so, that Murder Rap is debuting this afternoon at No. 7 on Amazon's listing for books in its music section, just four spots behind Keith Richards' autobiography, Life.
Longtime Los Angeles literary agent BJ Robbins says it's atypical for a self-published book to get such a hot start.
"It is unusual," she says, "but I think it's obviously that the subject matter is of interest to a lot of people and it could be the publicity. Most self-published books don't get any publicity at all."
In addition to its top 10 spot among music books, Murder Rap is also No. 14 on Amazon's listing for non-fiction books in its"True Accounts" section, and ranked No. 628 on Amazon's Best Seller's list.
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"I think it's great for the author," says Robbins, "but you have to look at it more long term, more than just the first day or first week, and look at it in a month and see where it is. But maybe being so successful right out of the gate will lead to more and more sales. It's a very quirky business and you never know."
Kading says that because his book is self-published, it is only available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and that an e-book version will be available soon. If people request enough copies at their bookstores, he says, shops and vendors may begin to carry it.
Robbins says that while self-publishing a book has many challenges, readers don't necessarily care.
"I think that readers don't care when it comes to certain kinds of books," she says, "and with something sort of sensational like this, it probably doesn't matter."