Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Who Is The Intended Audience For Andrew Cuomo's Book?

State of Politics:

The publication of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s forthcoming book “All Things Possible: Setbacks and Success in Politics and Life” is being pushed back from August to Sept. 16, according to this publisher HarperCollins.

The Wall Street Journal reported this morning the book will receive a 200,000-copy first print — an unusually large run.

The book’s cover, also, was switched from a picture of Cuomo standing in front of a wood-paneled wall to a tighter portrait shot of the governor.

Cuomo’s financial disclosure forms and publicly available income tax records show the book deal is worth at least $700,000.

A 200,000-copy first run?

Just who is Harper Collins (owned by Rupert Murdoch, btw) planning to sell this book to?

Let's assume Cuomo's family, friends and loved ones buy some copies.

Let's assume too that suck-ups who work for him buy some.

Let's assume Billy Joel takes $30 out of his drinking fund and buys a copy too.

And let's assume Cuomo's consort, Sandra Lee, forces people in her coterie to plunk down the money for the book to try and drive some numbers.

How many copies sold is that?

Now I've been watching the Hillary Clinton book sales closely, because she got a huge printing for her book too - much bigger than Sheriff Andy got actually, and her sales have not been too good.

Here's Politico on June 17:

Officials with Hillary Clinton’s publisher, Simon & Schuster, insist her book has fared well amid reports of weak sales, and that it’s succeeded despite a dramatically altered retail landscape since her last memoir.

The book sold roughly 100,000 copies from the Tuesday when it was released through the following Saturday, according to a Simon & Schuster source. The source added that the book, titled “Hard Choices,” is debuting at No. 1 on the Indie Bestseller List, which reflects sales at independent bookstores.

The 100,000 figure for “Hard Choices” includes pre-orders and e-books, the publishing sources said. Those figures get rolled into the first-day sales.

The New York Times best-seller list, which will be released Wednesday, is another metric people are watching to see how the memoir is faring.

The first 1 million copies printed of the book were pre-ordered by bookstores, although that figure does not reflect how many were bought by customers.


 People close to Clintonland also said the market for books has changed greatly since “Living History,” noting the closure of several hundred Borders bookstores and dozens of Barnes & Noble outlets.

Not a great start for a book that got a $14 million advance.

And it's gotten worse since:

There’s hand-wringing and finger-pointing at Simon & Schuster over the soft performance of Hillary Clinton’s “Hard Choices,” for which she got a $14 million advance, sources said — and which was replaced at No. 1 on the best-seller list this week by an “exposé” about Hillary and Bill Clinton.

The former secretary of state’s tome sold 161,000 copies in its first three weeks, according to Nielsen BookScan — but 85,000 of those were sold in the first week. That number has dropped sharply to 48,000 and 28,000 in subsequent weeks, with the most recent numbers due out Wednesday.

Simon & Schuster shipped an optimistic 1 million copies to stores. Hillary reportedly got $8 million for her last book for the publisher, “Living History,” which sold 438,000 copies in its first week and more than 1.15 million overall.

Adding insult to injury, the new book was pushed from the No. 1 spot on the New York Times best-seller list this week by Edward Klein’s story of the Clintons’ pained relationship with Barack and Michelle Obama, “Blood Feud.” A source close to Hillary has blasted the book, along with its author, as “dastardly” and a combination of “pathological lying, hate and just flat-out creepiness.”
“There’s lots of finger-pointing going on at Simon & Schuster” over the very expensive Clinton deal, a source told Page Six.

Another insider said sales of 161,000 for “Hard Choices” would be “OK” for a normal book without such a big advance and expectations. “It’s an OK number — it’s very solid — a good amount to sell in three weeks,” the source said. “And the book is $35, significantly higher than most.” Also, BookScan only measures 85 percent of the print market, and not e-books.

A rep for Simon & Schuster did not respond to a request for comment. Reports have said the early numbers for “Hard Choices” reflect that it will not sell enough to cover Clinton’s advance, or to sell the million copies shipped, which are sent on consignment, with unsold copies ultimately going back to the publisher.

Now that's the Murdoch-owned NY Post ragging on Simon & Schuster for the absurd $14 million advance they handed Clinton for a book that not too many people planned on buying.

But the Murdoch-owned Harper Collins is likely going to have a mini-disaster on its own hands with the Cuomo book, because it's hard to see how if Hillary Clinton could only sell 161,000 copies of "Hard Choices," Andrew Cuomo is going to sell 200,000 first-run copies of “All Things Possible: Setbacks and Success in Politics and Life.”

Now I dunno, maybe all the Chris Cuomo groupies out there go out and buy the book and make me eat my words, but I just have a difficult time seeing the $700,000 advance and the 200,000-copy first run printing from Murdoch's Harper Collins as anything other than payback for Cuomo's corporate-friendly policies as governor, in particular Cuomo's pro-charter policies which Murdoch loves.

Murdoch has long been known to use his media outlets to reward friends and punish enemies - he keeps the NY Post open and operating despite its losing hundreds of millions of dollars for just that purpose.

I can't see any business reason why Harper Collins would pay Cuomo $700,000 in advance for his book and print 200,000 copies in the first run other than paying him back for stuff Sheriff Andy did that Rupert liked.


  1. In brief, the market for Andrew Cuomo's book is the young readers who will be instructed according to the common core curriculum. Make Anrew Cuomo's audience young black and Latino high school kids. Same audience for Hillary's book,
    Without this young audience, without this toxic curriculum, their books won't sell enough copies to justify their advance payments and royalties. Hillary and Andrew, by dint of your incredibly hard work pushing the common core curriculum, you have created an audience for your toxic genre that just might sustain your charming lifestyles.

    1. Read somewhere today that the buying market for political books is very small and few of the people who buy these books actually read them: