Despite a media-fueled book tour that had former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appearing on both broadcast and cable news networks, and at heavily-hyped book signings in New York City and the Washington, D.C. area, sales for Clinton’s new book got off to a sluggish start.
According to Nielsen Bookscan—which represents approximately 70 to 80 percent of print sales—Hard Choices sold 85,721 copies, which was far below the 438,000+ that Clinton’s first book, Living History, sold in 2003. It also trailed the week’s bestselling fiction title, Written In My Heart’s Own Blood, the latest ‘Outlander’ novel from Diana Gabaldon, which sold 88,751 copies.
For most authors, sales like Clinton’s would be considered a smashing success. But according to The Weekly Standard, a source at Simon and Schuster said that the publisher was targeting sales of 150,000, making the book a disappointment.
Simon and Schuster, which gave Clinton an $8 million advance in 2000 for her first book, Living History, profited mightily when the book sold over 1,150,000 copies when it was published in 2003. They are unlikely to see the same return this time around, especially since they forked over $14 million to Hillary to pen Hard Choices.
The lackluster sales are likely the result of less-than groundbreaking content in the book, along with Hillary fatigue. After all, she was the First Lady for eight years, a U.S. Senator for a little over seven years and Secretary of State for nearly five years. Plus, her media interviews have largely been disasters, and instead of giving the book a sales boost, they may have done exactly the opposite.
Even though Hillary is the presumptive Democratic nominee for president in 2016, her recent uneven performance gives hope to other prospective candidates that her nomination isn’t guaranteed. And that view seems to be growing even among her liberal media supporters.