The Washington Post

How ‘Hard Choices’ is selling

BuzzFeed's Ruby Cramer, who's been closely tracking sales data for Hillary Clinton's book Hard Choices, reports that the former Secretary of State sold 12,177 copies of her book in hard cover through Barnes and Noble in its second week of sales. That is about half of what the chain sold in the first week.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks about her new book "Hard Choices" on Friday. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

It's not surprising for the second week of sales to decline from the first week, when there's a lot more media attention paid to the book. That first week, the book sold 86,000 copies in hardcover, plus somewhere north of that once you include ebooks. As we mentioned last week, solid figures can be hard to come by.

There are some numbers we can track. As of writing, the ebook is positioned at 149th in Amazon's Kindle Store. In hardcover, it's ranked 15th at Amazon and is vacillating between 8th and 9th overall at Barnes and Noble. (Number two at both sites, as of this writing: 10-Day Green Smoothie Cleanse. It has one review at B&N, of one star.) Clinton made two appearances at Barnes and Noble locations as part of her book tour. The most recent was in Los Angeles on June 19.

Clinton will not match the level of sales her previous book, Living History, enjoyed. That book sold a million copies in its first month. Clinton's team pointed out to Politico that the nature of publishing has changed since that book came out in 2003 and recommended that a more apt comparison might be to books by former defense secretary Bob Gates or Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). Clinton likely still trails Gates' 218,000 sales since its January release, and has already passed Warren's 62,000 in total sales as of last week.

Some consolation for the former First Lady: Although Hard Choices is ranked only 8th on Barnes & Noble's top 100 list right now, that's only two places behind the young adult sensation The Fault in Our Stars, which was recently released as a movie. And her book is outselling a five-book boxed set of Game of Thrones. Sure, it's not selling at Green Smoothie Cleanse numbers, but it's selling.

Philip Bump writes about politics for The Fix. He is based in New York City.



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