Pawlenty’s book sells fewer than 5,000 copies the first week

posted at 6:16 pm on January 20, 2011 by Allahpundit

Actually, that’s almost certainly not true: As noted at the link, the BookScan numbers listed here only account for 75 percent of all sales typically, so total sales should be somewhere in the ballpark of 6,000.

I know what you’re thinking because I know which yardstick you’re using to measure, but that comparison is absurd for a dozen different reasons. Honestly, are these numbers really that bad?

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s week-old book blitz got him plenty of face-time on national television, but he’s not in best-seller territory yet.

Nielsen BookScan, a national data provider for the book publishing industry, shows a total of 4,765 sales of Pawlenty’s Courage to Stand as of Wednesday, the vast majority since the beginning of his national book tour in New York on Jan. 11…

“We’re obviously very pleased with the early response to Governor Pawlenty’s new book,” said spokesman Alex Conant. “There’s a lot of excitement about the Governor’s message, which is helping drive strong turnout at our book signings and a lot of media interest in his story.”

Palin’s first book sold more than 100 times that amount in its first week, but then Palin was a former VP nominee with an obsessive media following. Plus, her book promised campaign dirt on backstage tensions with people like Steve Schmidt that made it a must-read even for political junkies who dislike her. And of course, T-Paw doesn’t have a loyal class of liberal detractors willing to pick up his book simply in the hope of discovering a spelling error and citing it as proof of how stupid he is. There was a lot of fuel in the rocket for the launch of “Going Rogue,” in other words. For most politicians, though? Nah. True, Romney’s latest book did end up on the bestseller list, but it took bulk orders from conservative groups to help make that happen. For a truer comparison, refresh your memory of how Pelosi’s book did in its first week out of the chute in 2008. She’d been Speaker for a year and a half by that point, had access to practically any media outlet she wanted to promote it, and had an adoring lefty base ready to plunk down some cash for a glimpse at the thoughts of the first woman in U.S. history to lead the House. First-week sales, per BookScan: 2,737 copies.

Besides, why does Pawlenty care how many books he sells? The TV appearances he’s been making this week aren’t a means to selling books; rather, writing a book was a means to getting on TV to help raise his profile before the primaries. If he somehow wins the nomination, sales on this one will take off next year. Just ask the guy in the White House, who’s now a millionaire several times over from the royalties. Exit question: Still — only #4,649 on Amazon’s list of bestsellers? Yeesh.


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