Mitt Romney's book sales boost
Former presidential candidate and governor Mitt Romney's book "No Apologies: The Case for American Greatness" was helped onto the bestseller list by a deal he made through his speaking engagements, Politico reports. Institutions were asked to pay at least $25,000 of Romney's $50,000 speaking price in book purchases.
The hosts ranged from Claremont McKenna College to the Restaurant Leadership Conference, many of whom are accustomed to paying for high-profile speakers like Romney.... With a discount of roughly 40%, that meant institutions could wind up with more than 3,000 copies of the book -- and a person associated with one of his hosts said they still have quite a pile left over.
This isn't the first time a politician has mobilized his -- or her -- resources to boost book sales. In February, ABC News reported that Sarah Palin's own Political Action Committee bought her memoir "Going Rogue" in bulk to give to supporters, to the tune of about $63,000 in costs to the PAC.
"Palin would not be the first politician to use a PAC to underwrite the purchase of a memoir," ABC wrote. "The Federal Election Commission has heard a number of cases on the question of whether it is an appropriate expense." In Palin's case, there was no investigation -- because she wasn't holding or running for office at the time.
As far as Romney goes, it's not unusual for speaking engagements to include a book purchase, although Politico believes Romney's book was moved at a higher volume than most.
On March 2, the Boston Globe reported that Romney had modest expectations for the book, saying, "I don’t pretend this is going to be a bestseller." Three weeks later, it debuted at the top of the New York Times bestseller list.
-- Carolyn Kellogg
Photo: Mitt Romney at the Values Voter Summit in September. Credit: Jacquelyn Martin / Associated Press