Hillary Clinton's new book, "Hard Choices," was called a sales "bomb" by a veteran publisher in an email to The Weekly Standard
. The 60,000 copies sold in its first week fell well short of the publisher's purported 150,000 estimate that took into account her extensive media tour.
"Sales were well below expectations and the media was a disaster," said the insider. "Between us, they are nervous at S&S [publisher Simon and Schuster]."
Clinton was widely reported to have received a $14-million advance for the book, which the publishing house is now unlikely to recoup. Simon and Schuster reportedly printed and shipped one million copies of "Hard Choices" to retailers like Amazon and Barnes and Nobel ahead of the June 10 on-sale date, but the carefully planned tour schedule and interviews with household names like Diane Sawyer didn't produce the sales bump the publisher needed.
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According to the Simon and Schuster source, "The 60k represents a less than 10% sell thru based on what they shipped." Based on typical book-sales trends, this means, "They will be lucky to sell 150,000 total lifetime."
"It's a bomb but it will be interesting to see how they spin it," the source concluded.
The 656-page book details Clinton's four years as President Obama’s secretary of state, and many said it was a prelude to her candidacy for president in 2016. Reviews of the book were lukewarm at best, and many, including the The New York Times
, criticized it for containing "little news" compared to former Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates’s recent memoir "Duty," which was praised for its candor.
According to another publishing insider that spoke with The Weekly Standard, expectations were high for sales of "Hard Choices" after Clinton's 2003 memoir, "Living History," sold one million copies in its first month.
"The rollout was touted as the best planned book tour ever, meticulously crafted by the smartest Hillary aides, publishing PR gurus, and the savviest superagents," said the book expert.
During the tour, however, the former First Lady was widely panned for saying she and Bill were "dead broke" when they left the White House, and for being combative with NPR's Terry Gross over questions about her changed position on same-sex marriage. Many news outlets reported on the gaffes, with CNN running the headline
, "Hillary Clinton hits some speed bumps."
"The book will probably debut on the bestseller list at number one and then fall like a rock," said the Standard's source. "After the smoke clears, with tens of thousands of books sitting in warehouses collecting dust, there’ll be a lot of handwringing and probably a few people without jobs."
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