- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 26, 2014

Sales of Hillary Clinton’s new memoir “Hard Choices” plummeted in its second week in bookstores, according to publishing tracking firm Nielsen BookScan.

Sales figures declined 43 percent in the second week, dropping from 85,721 copies sold in the first week to just 48,227 in the second week, showed additional publishing data reported by CNN.

The book, which focus on her stint as secretary of state, also dropped out of the top 20 on Amazon’s bestseller list.

The sharp decline in interest is bad news for the publisher, Simon & Shuster, which paid Mrs. Clinton a multimillion-dollar advance and spent heavily on the book’s launch.

Jason Pinter, founder and publisher of Polis Books, said the first week’s sales numbers were already cause for concern.

“Publicity-driven books like this are always front-loaded,” Mr. Pinter told CNN. “Which is why the first week numbers were likely a cause for concern — they were only going to go down from there.”

The figures, which do not include e-book or digital downloads, likely have rattled Mrs. Clinton. The book is considered the beginning of her campaign for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, though she has not formally announced her run.

Mrs. Clinton had already tripped up repeatedly during the rollout of “Hard Choices,” including stumbling over questions about the vast wealth accumulated by herself and her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

Simon & Schuster insisted they are happy with the book’s sales performance and that it will be a “major bestseller.”

“Simon & Schuster is thrilled with Hard Choices’ strong start right out of the gate, and the terrific feedback we’re hearing from reviewers, retailers and, most importantly, readers,” Jonathan Karp, president and publisher of Simon & Schuster, said in a statement last week. “Hard Choices is on a trajectory to being the best-selling nonfiction book of the year.”

The book topped the New York Times bestseller list for hardcover nonfiction in its first week. But sales of “Hard Choices” were No. 4 on the list among hardcover and paperback nonfiction.

In a bid to improve international sales, Mrs. Clinton take her book tour to France and Germany next month, according to Simon & Schuster.