Washington - Simon & Schuster reportedly gave former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a $14 million advance on her book, Hard Choices. Apparently, S&S got Clinton’s book excerpts mixed up with Stephen King’s latest thriller.
Why else would the veteran publishing house pay that kind of money for a book even liberal media outlets are describing as a real snoozer.
Of course, Mrs. Clinton lamenting over being “dead broke” after living in the White House as America’s First Lady for 8 years did set the book up for a fair amount of ridicule. After all, it’s sort of hard to imagine Hillary outside the Oval Office scrounging together enough money to pay the pizza guy.
However, there is a growing consensus among political pundits from both sides of the aisle, not to mention book reviews, that Mrs. Clinton’s book should have been titled "Boring Choices."
In it, Clinton is reportedly so tediously cautious and sparing of detail that Hard Choices may be a good choice for "dead-broke" insomniacs attempting to ween off sleeping pills.
According to an article in Weekly Standard, one veteran publishing source, in an email, described “Hard Choices,” Clinton’s memoir of her State Department years, as a “bomb.” Beyond boring, the book is also a financial disaster for Simon & Schuster.
In fact, it seems the only one making any money off the book are the Clintons. According to the Weekly Standard, an anonymous publisher in the know reveals in an email, “They sold 60,000 hard covers the 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.
Still, despite the underwhelming performance, some diehard Clinton advocates are trying to rally the troops by arguing that almost any writer would be thrilled to see 60,000 hardbacks move in a week.
But while a run of 60K is great for a normal, run of the mill writer, Mrs. Clinton is far from being an average writer trying to get a break in the downsized world of book publishers. S&S hedged their $14 million bet on Mrs. Clinton’s being the First Lady for eight years, U.S. Secretary of State another four, and the probable Democratic Party’s nomination for the presidency in 2016.
While bipartisan critics indicate a snooze alarm may be required to get through Hard Choices, at least Mrs. Clinton will not be rummaging through her purse for cab fair in the foreseeable future.
Conversely, the executive at Simon & Schuster who signed off on the deal may be a cab driver before Mrs. Clinton becomes an official candidate in the 2016 presidential race.