The sales of Hillary Clinton’s new book, Hard Choices, which wasn’t selling all that well to begin with, have fallen off a cliff, saddling her publisher with huge losses.
According to Nielsen BookScan, which tracks sales at over 80 percent of the book vendors in the U.S., Hard Choices sold just 28,000 copies in its third week, which is down from 48,000 the previous week and 85,000 when it first became available for sale. Add in estimated e-book sales of 20,000, and the total sales figure comes to just 181,000.
While the sales are an embarrassment for Clinton, they’re disastrous for Simon and Schuster, which was so confident they had another sure-fire hit on their hands that they gave Clinton a $14 million advance. That means, based on hardcover sales, the publisher has paid Clinton almost $87 per book sold, which is almost two and a half times the $35 cover price of the book. By comparison, Hillary’s first book, Living History, sold over 1.15 million copies overall, meaning that she was paid roughly $7 per book, based on her $8 million advance for that title.
Not only is Simon and Schuster facing losses of over $10 million on the book, but with one million copies shipped they are bracing for a massive flood of returns from bookstores—books that they will have to dispose of somehow.
Adding insult to injury, Hard Choices was knocked from the No. 1 spot on the New York Times best-seller list this week by the anti-Clinton book Blood Feud by Edward Klein. It’s even worse on Amazon, where Hard Choices has fallen to 119th compared to 13th for Blood Feud.
Let the shredding begin.