Sales of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s new memoir, “Hard Choices,” declined 43.5 percent to 48,000 copies in its second week on the shelves, according to Nielsen BookScan.
The sales figures put pressure on the publisher, Simon & Schuster, which paid Mrs. Clinton a multimillion-dollar advance to write about her time at the State Department and has invested heavily in the book’s rollout, one of the biggest of the year.
About 85,000 copies were sold in the week after the book’s June 10 release, according to BookScan, a subscription service that tracks sales at over 80 percent of book vendors in the United States. Those figures do not include e-books, which increased sales by about 15 percent, to roughly 100,000 electronic and hardcover copies.
First-week sales typically account for about 30 percent of the total, thanks to the publicity blitzes that accompany publishers’ biggest releases. That means “Hard Choices” could fall far short of the one million copies that Simon & Schuster shipped to bookstores, industry executives said. (Publishers sell books on consignment and must take back copies that do not sell in the stores.)
The second-week figures also increase the likelihood that Simon & Schuster will not sell enough books to make up for Mrs. Clinton’s advance, said a publishing executive who did not want to speak on the record about a competitor’s book.
Cary Goldstein, a Simon & Schuster spokesman, declined to discuss the advance. In a statement, he said the publisher was delighted by the sales of “Hard Choices.”
“It will be selling for years — in hardcover, e-book, audio and paperback — and we expect it to be a successful book for Simon & Schuster as well as our many international partners,” Mr. Goldstein said. “Most importantly,” he added, “reader reaction has been terrific.”
Sales of the book have been strong compared with similar nonfiction titles — diet and self-help books notwithstanding. It will be No. 1 on The New York Times’s list of hardcover nonfiction best sellers on Sunday. On Wednesday, “Hard Choices” was No. 21 among Amazon’s best-sellers. (“Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. the Obamas” by Edward Klein is No. 3.)
Mrs. Clinton’s book has sold better than memoirs by other former members of the Obama administration, including recent releases by former Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner (“Stress Test”) and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates (“Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War”). But neither man is a widely discussed potential presidential contender in 2016, and sales of “Hard Choices” will inevitably be dissected for indications of the country’s interest in Mrs. Clinton as a candidate.
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