Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Hillary's Book Bombs - But It's A Great Undercover Campaign Contribution At Our Expense
Hillary Clinton's latest ghost written memoir, "Hard Choices" received a huge amount of attention in the press and sparked a well publicized book tour, but that apparently isn't translating into the sales Simon & Schuster were expecting based on the $14 million dollar advance they gave her:
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.
"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.
'Nervous at Simom & Schuster?' I doubt that.
Since I know a bit about how book publishing works, I can tell you that an old line, established publishing house like S & S doesn't make huge mistakes with advances like this. They research this stuff carefully and have a marketing analysis done by experienced hands before they get out the checkbook. For example, Mrs. Clinton's last ghost written memoir, 'Living History' which chronicled her White House years (for which, by the way, she never credited her ghost writer Barbara Feinman and even tried to renege on part of Ms. Feinman's $120,000 fee) only received an $8 million dollar advance and made a profit, but not an overwhelming one.And that sold double what 'Hard Choices' did in its first week.
Not only that, but S & S went to the trouble and expense of printing over one million copies and shipping them before all the retail orders or even the preorders online were even in.
Major publishers simply don't make mistakes like that, or they turn into former publishers.
So let's look at how this works in the real world, shall we? Let's say S & S makes a gross profit on the retail sales of this piece of self-serving package of horse manure of between $3 and $4 million. After they deduct the costs of the advance, advertising, shipping, printing and all the other associated costs, what they end up with is a loss for tax purposes of perhaps $12 million plus..that's fully tax deductible against their other profits.
Meanwhile Mrs. Clinton still has her $14 million advance thanks to Simon & Schuster's unprecedented 'miscalculation'....and a nice campaign contribution that skirts campaign finance laws completely, while S&S is almost completely reimbursed by the American taxpayer, that is, you and me.
That plus the $6 billion that mysteriously went missing and is unaccounted for from the State Department's budget while she was Secretary of State would make a nice start for a 2016 run.
What difference does it make, right?
Oh, and who owns Simon & Schuster? CBS, who are in turn owned by Viacom. Just a coincidence of course, but Viacom's Chairman of the Board is Sumner Redstone, a self-described 'liberal Democrat' and a major Democrat donor as are most of the members of Viacom's board....along with Phillipe Dauman, by far the biggest individual shareholder, with over 1,350,000 shares.
Just a coincidence. Of course.