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Publishing Source: Hillary Book a 'Bomb'

9:46 PM, Jun 16, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
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In an email this evening, a veteran publishing source calls the latest Hillary Clinton book, Hard Choices, a memoir of her State Department years, a "bomb." The source is referring to the early but underwhelming sales figures.

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"Between us, they are nervous at S&S [Simon & Schuster]," says the source, who gave permission for his email to be published. "Sales were well below expectations and the media was a disaster."

According to this source, a Simon & Schuster insider, "They sold 60,000 hard covers first week and 24,000 ebooks." The publishing house was "hoping and praying for 150,000 print first week."

"The 60k represents a less than 10% sell thru based on what they shipped," says the source. 

It's been reported that one million copies of Clinton's book were shipped weeks before the June 10 publication date. "They will be lucky to sell 150,000 total lifetime," the source writes in the email.

Hillary reportedly received a near-$14 million advance, a sum the publishing house will unlikely make back.

"It's a bomb but it will be interesting to see how they spin it."

Ruby Cramer of BuzzFeed reported earlier today that Barnes & Noble sold 24,000 of Clinton's book.

“The Barnes & Noble BookScan figures provide the first, if partial, glimpse at consumer interest,” Cramer reported. “[T]he numbers do indicate that Hard Choices has not performed as well in its first week as Clinton’s first memoir, Living History, did in 2003. At the time, Barnes & Noble spokeswoman Carolyn Brown told CNN that the memoir sold more than 40,000 copies of Living History in 24 hours, breaking the Barnes & Noble release-day sales record. The BookScan numbers released Monday, which cover sales for the week ending on June 15, show the company sold just over half that amount in hardback copies of Hard Choices.”

According to my source, Barnes & Noble, helped in part by the book signing Hillary Clinton held there at the beginning of her tour, outsold Amazon.com.

The book was released to great fanfare last week.

"“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," writes another publishing source.

"The book will probably debut on the bestseller list at number one and then fall like a rock. 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."

Daniel Halper is online editor at The Weekly Standard and author of Clinton, Inc.: The Audacious Rebuilding of a Political Machine (forthcoming).

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