Skip to comments.Book sales figures tumble for Hillary's 'Hard Choices'
Posted on 06/26/2014 10:24:15 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
Let’s stipulate up front that most authors with contracts at major publishers would love to see their book sales fall to 48,000 in the second week, but Hillary Clinton is not most authors. She has global name recognition and was assumed to have a story to tell in Hard Choices, and got nearly $14 million from Simon & Schuster for publication rights. After the relatively inauspicious debut or what turned out to be a dull campaign tome on the charts of 85,721 in first-week hard-copy sales, the book fell to 48,227 in its second week, signifying a sharp decline in interest:
Hillary Clinton’s new memoir “Hard Choice” experienced a 43% drop in sales in its second week on bookshelves, according to numbers from Nielsen BookScan.
After 85,721 copies of “Hard Choices” were purchased in the book’s first week, 48,227 copies of the memoir sold in the second week, according to Nielsen numbers, which make up roughly 85% of all retail book sales and were provided to CNN by a publishing source. …
Jason Pinter, founder and publisher of Polis Books, said the decline is “not at all” surprising.
“Publicity-driven books like this are always front-loaded,” Pinter said. “Which is why the first week numbers were likely a cause for concern-they were only going to go down from there.” …
But Pinter said no matter how much Clinton sells the book, the “reviews were tepid enough to squelch interest from everyone but hardcore Hillary devotees.”
That’s the problem that the book sales expose. There aren’t really a lot of “hardcore Hillary devotees,” or even enough political junkies who ordered the book as reference material for the next two years. The first memoirs from Bill and Hillary Clinton sold like hotcakes because they were the first, and the public was still eaten up by curiosity over the Clintons and their era in the White House. By now, few retain either the curiosity or the enthusiasm for either Clinton in sufficient quantity to slap down $30 (or less, since Hard Choices is already being heavily discounted) to read an anodyne account of Hillary’s exploits since Living History.
Simon & Schuster are putting a brave public face, but the New York Times isn’t buying it. Internally, it’s a different story:
First-week sales typically account for about 30 percent of the total, thanks to the publicity blitzes that accompany publishers biggest releases. That means Hard Choices could fall far short of the one million copies that Simon & Schuster shipped to bookstores, industry executives said. (Publishers sell books on consignment and must take back copies that do not sell in the stores.)
The second-week figures also increase the likelihood that Simon & Schuster will not sell enough books to make up for Mrs. Clintons advance, said a publishing executive who did not want to speak on the record about a competitors book. …
Sales of the book have been strong compared with similar nonfiction titles diet and self-help books notwithstanding. It will be No. 1 on The New York Timess list of hardcover nonfiction best sellers on Sunday. On Wednesday, Hard Choices was No. 21 among Amazons best-sellers. (Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. the Obamas by Edward Klein is No. 3.)
Mrs. Clintons book has sold better than memoirs by other former members of the Obama administration, including recent releases by former Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner (Stress Test) and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates (Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War).
Talk about damning with faint praise. She’s outselling former Cabinet colleagues who don’t have anywhere near her name recognition, and her book is outselling other nonfiction, but not “diet and self-help books.” Yikes.
What does that say about Hillary’s chances in 2016? Nothing good, and that would be true even if she hadn’t spent two weeks repeatedly shooting herself in the foot while promoting the book, especially over a topic on which she should have prepared — her wealth. It’s as if she didn’t anticipate that Democrats would make income inequality an issue in this year’s midterm elections, despite the fact that they’ve been talking about it since September 2011 and spent all last summer hammering Mitt Romney over it.
On the other hand, I have to disagree in part with my friend Jon Ralston in his “epic rant” over Hillary Clinton’s speaking fees at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas.
Ralston called the fee “obscene”, “grotesque” and “revolting”, adding: “Hillary Clinton, who advocates for affordable education, should be ashamed.” And then, for good measure, Ralston asked incredulously: “Is anyone worth that much money?”
Um, wow. …
Now, one rant — even by someone with a following in a swing state and nationally like Ralston — isn’t all that big a deal for Clinton. Particularly since it’s happening in June 2014 not June 2016. But, Ralston’s reaction coupled with the ongoing problems Clinton has displayed in talking about her family’s wealth should be warning signs for the campaign in waiting.
If Hillary and her allies really want to cast her as either a) an average person or b) the voice of average people, they might want to cut back on taking six figure speech fees sometime relatively soon.
I agree with almost everything Jon says except where he says that Hillary should “be ashamed” to take the fee. I don’t begrudge Hillary Clinton or anyone else earning a living on the speaking circuit. UNLV and the foundation can and should be criticized for paying it, but that’s Hillary’s vocation these days. Chis Cillizza’s correct in warning about the optics of taking that payday, but it’s not an ethical problem to accept a fee for a market-based service at the going rate, which in this case is exactly what Hillary did. Besides, after the last two-plus weeks, the optics here pale in comparison to the “dead broke” and “not truly well off” claims.
Update: Joe Klein calls the wealth fumble a “disaster”:
So’s the book, relative to its advance and its political purpose.
soon amazon will give it to you for free if you pay for another book.
There’s nothing hard about the choice not to buy the stupid piece of fishwrap!
BREAKING NEWS: Price of toilet paper drops!
Kinda reminds me of that part in Elf - where the book was missing pages - but he still sent it to publication...aren’t the liberals mad that so many trees were killed to publish that thing?
How, oh how, can a struggling multimillionaire like her pay her bills?!
Hillaryous. Poor baby. Perhaps she’ll need to file for unemployment to tide her over. How about an EBT card, Hillaryous?
(Besides, it looks like she stole the title from Bill’s little black book.)
Boy, the lamps & the shoes must be flying in Hillary’s office.
The Flying Buttress is NOT amused!
Golly, is this a “new” article and completely different than what you posted earlier today?
Looks like Ed has a little more stroke with the editors.
Simon got Shystered in giving Hellary 14 large for the book advance. I guess she owes them to push it so they can recoup some of the loss. But its for a ‘worthy cause’ and for helping poor, impoverished Hillary...... bluuuuughhhhhhhhhwwwwwwaaaaa.
Hilary will be embarrassed out of business and I don’t just mean book sales. Public mockery is impossible to recover from and she is a fool.
Despite everything my intellect tells me - this is one case where the weirdos that tout “white privilege” have a leg to stand on. It should be known as “white liberal privilege” though, and all three Clintons are essentially the demi-gods of it. Glad the publishers are getting hosed on this.
“The Democrat Party is the core of the Chinese revolution, and its principles are based on Marxism-Leninism. Party criticism should be carried out within the Party.”
“The revolution, and the recognition of class and class struggle, are necessary for peasants and the Amerikan people to overcome both domestic and foreign enemy elements. This is not a simple, clean, or quick struggle.”
“Socialism must be developed in America, and the route toward such an end is a democratic revolution, which will enable socialist and communist consolidation over a length of time. It is also important to unite with the middle peasants, and educate them on the failings of capitalism.”
“U.S. imperialism, and European and domestic reactionary forces, represent real dangers, and in this respect are like real tigers. However, because the goal of Chinese communism is just, and reactionary interests are self-centered and unjust, after struggle, they will be revealed to be much less dangerous than they were earlier perceived to be.”
“It is necessary for intellectuals, students, soldiers and the average peasant to pay attention and involve themselves with political work. “ (Special note to DNC)
“It is the responsibility of all to cultivate themselves, and study Marxism-Leninism deeply. It is also necessary for people to turn their attention to contemporary problems, along empirical lines.”
Amazon has it down to $21 and currently there are 244 5-star reviews and 686 1-star reviews.
It is fairly obvious at this point the “book deal” was a proxy donation to the Clinton checking account...
Hard Choices? Something about that title. There is a joke in there somewhere.
I'm guessing that it's a payoff from somebody, akin to her "brilliance" in making money in the futures markets.
As for "white privilege", it's more corrupt liberal Democrat privilege. Non-whites that toe the liberal anti-American line get similar bennies.
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