When Authors Go On Tour

Hillary Clinton during her 2008 Presidential campaign, from wikipedia, photo by Brett Weinstein
Hillary Clinton during her 2008 Presidential campaign, from wikipedia, photo by Brett Weinstein

The Celebrity Hardcover Book

The celebrity hardcover book  release is something most of us will never experience unless we survive a shark attack or make it to the White House as Commander in Chief. Despite dwindling sales numbers, people in the news have not given up writing non-fiction tales of their life in the limelight. One such author is Hillary Clinton, who has been around Washington politics since the early 90s.

The Hillary Clinton Book Tour

When you get a multi-million dollar advance for your memoir, chances are pretty good that you can probably afford to do a book tour. I would even go so far to say that it is expected by the publisher. Currently, one such author, Hillary Clinton, who just released “Hard Choices”, is winding up her American swing and will soon be headed across the pond to visit Germany and France. I know this seems like the carefree life of a well-to-do jetsetter, but bouncing around the world in a jetliner can be exhausting and I’m sure nobody is more aware of this than the former Secretary of State, who logged quite a few air miles, while serving in that post.

From the Audience

From the viewpoint of someone who occasionally sits in the audience, I enjoy author talks much more when they talk about how their book came into being rather than when they read directly from the manuscript. For me, nothing is more boring than sitting  through 45 minutes of a writer reading his (or her) own work. This is especially through for poetry, unless of course the bard happens to be a slam poet. That changes everything.

The Numbers Behind Mrs. Clinton’s New Book Release

Over the first three weeks, Hard Choices, sold over 160,000 copies. Sounds pretty good, but in reality, these are not the kind of numbers Simon and Schuster and Mrs. Clinton were hoping for. Based on 1.4 million sold hardbacks for her 2003 title, Living History, S & S gave the former first lady a reported advance of 14 million. Then they printed 1 million copies in advance. However, at present rate, the NYC publisher may have some extra books on their hands come Christmas time. This is because more than half of her sales came in the first week and at present sales numbers are around 20,000 a week. This would be great news for most writers, but the sagging numbers are a disappointment for the NY resident. Still, her book has far outpassed any other current  literary authors, which includes such notables as Elizabeth Warren, Dick Cheney, Joe Biden, Rand Paul, Liz Cheney and Chris Christie.

Hillary Clinton visiting Burma while Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton visiting Burma while Secretary of State, from wikipedia

Coming This Week: Can the winner of  next presidential election be pre-determined by book sales?

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Romney’s Delusions

NGC 6357: Cathedral to Massive Stars
NGC 6357: Cathedral to Massive Stars
Image Credit: NASA, ESA and Jesús Maíz Apellániz (IAA, Spain)

Election Night

After a long and drawn out campaign Mitt Romney went into election night with an overwhelming  feeling of competence that they would win the election. Evidence for this can be seen in the website that was put up right after the polls by the Republican Presidential Campaign Staff and in the fact that Romney only wrote an acceptance speech, which of course he planned on delivering to the nation sometime later that night. I hate to gloat, but I would had loved to been a fly on the wall, when Mitt finally sat down and penned a short concession speech. In Mitt’s defense it should be noted that concession speeches are usually very brief, while a victory proclamation necessitates a bit more effort. And furthermore, writing a victory speech is good PR, especially if you are able to get a press release out before the polls close. Still, the overall effect, remains that despite the fact the race was close, Romney and staff missed some key warning signs as to how the election would turn out, especially in the electoral college, where President Obama outpaced the ex-Massachusetts Governor by more than a 100 points.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa
The Leaning Tower of Pisa, from Wikipedia, photo by Alkarex Malin äger

Romney’s Miscalculations

Unseating a sitting president is not so easy, especially when the incumbent enjoys a 50 % approval rating. In this sense presidential politics is a lot like a heavyweight boxing match. And that means you have to soundly beat the champ to get the referee’s decision. I think this is one area, where the Romney camp underestimated the challenge of defeating the president.

And the other would be the swing states. Even though Obama’s lead was statistically slim it was still steady and did not change much during the last few weeks of campaigning. The fact that Obama carried places like Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Iowa, Colorado and Nevada by a good five percentage points raises the question whether these places really were toss-ups.

What Romney Did Right

The best thing Romney did for the Republican party was revive the Nixon strategy….and that is…… where you run to the right to get the nomination, then circle back towards the left and the center to win in November. I think that if the Republicans what to revive their hopes in the next presidential contest, they will have to follow this strategy. Also of note is the fact that Romney was the only major Republican candidate to accept the likelihood that “climate change” is affecting us right now in 2012. How it affects us and what we can do about it, is another story, but acknowledging the existence of this recent phenomena does put anybody running for higher office on the right track.

What Gore, Romney and George W. Bush Have In Common

Quite simply, they are all sons of prominent politicians. And they have all been selected by their respective parties to run for the office of the President of the United States. As a group they have not fared well, for only George W. has been able to break the 50% barrier…..and that only occurred once in 2004. Even then, Mr. Bush saw his popularity plummet after the election due to war and a deteriorating economy.