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Ron Paul leads Sarah Palin and Mitt Romney in Republican (book) race


Mitt Romney announced Thursday that he's running for the Republican nomination for president. The entry has been long expected from the former Massachusetts governor. Several high-profile Republicans -- including Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul -- have already hit the campaign trail. Others who are less well-known, like former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, have also gotten an early start.

And then there's Sarah Palin, who is traveling by bus to campaign-ready states -- she's attending a New Hampshire clambake Thursday -- though she has not yet announced her intention to run.

Can the popularity of the candidates' books signal how well they'll do with the American public? Jacket Copy looked at how the hardcover editions of their books were faring at Amazon.com at midday Thursday, after Romney's announcement. Despite his news, Romney's book falls short. It's Ron Paul who has captured readers' attention -- his "Liberty Defined" has the highest ranking of all the candidates' books at No. 337 overall on Amazon.

If current book sales rankings were votes, Paul would lead, with Palin second and Romney third. Here's a comparison of GOP contenders as authors:

1. Ron Paul, "Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues That Affect Our Freedom" published April 2011. Amazon rank: 337

2. Sarah Palin, "America By Heart: Reflections on Faith, Family and Flag" published Nov. 2010. Amazon rank: 9,193

3. Mitt Romney, "No Apology: Believe in America," published Feb. 2011. Amazon rank 16,639

4. Herman Cain, "They Think You're Stupid: Why Democrats Lost Your Vote and What Republicans Must Do to Keep It" published May 2005. Amazon rank: 45,728

5. Newt Gingrich, "To Save America: Stopping Obama's Secular-Socialist Machine" published May 2010. Amazon rank: 71,027

6. Tim Pawlenty, "Courage to Stand: An American Story" published Jan. 2011. Amazon rank: 73,198

Gary E. Johnson doesn't appear on the list; his website is currently down, but I don't think he's published a book. Let's qualify that with a "yet."

The surprise might be that Gingrich's book lags so far behind Cain's. Gingrich has had more exposure on the campaign trail, is a known author and his book is new; Cain's was published six years ago. Maybe he's a candidate to watch.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photos: Mitt Romney, left, announcing his candidacy on Thursday; Ron Paul signs his book "Liberty Defined" at an appearance in May. Credits: Darren McCollester / Getty Images; Ethan Miller/Getty Images



Comments () | Archives (56)

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I belive Gary Johnson does have a book coming out called "Seven Principles of Good Government"

You've given me a nice summer reading assignment though :) Which one of these politicians will appear less slimy after I've read their book :)

CNN Poll shows only Ron Paul can challenge Obama. Ron Paul is the only chance for GOP, because only Ron Paul can get most vote from independent, which Gallop Poll shows as well.

"The surprise might be that Gingrich's book lags so far behind Cain's."

No, the surprise is that none of these "authors" are even close to Ron Paul.

Ron paul 2012

Ron Paul writes books of substance, the others are just to hold the author's picture on the front.

Ron Paul is the only one with somthing worth reading.

I just finished Liberty Defined. I think it's incredible for two reasons:

1. Never before have I witnessed a politician jot down an alphabetical list of every controversial issue under the sun and clearly state his stance on each one and what he believes government's involvement should be. Also, it's mostly logic and reason, instead of emotionally loaded rhetoric, and this was overwhelmingly refreshing.

2. This book is a bold piece of goodness (morally speaking). Ron Paul has set a very high standard for being a decent individual. I keep reflecting on it, using it as my frame of reference, adopting qualities of Ron's that want as my own, and I'm seeing positive returns in my career and personal life just because of this new attitude.

Of course, he has my vote. I have no doubt he could turn America into something very special. But, merely putting work like this out there is already a gift.

So, thanks Ron. And I hope everyone takes the time to understand Ron by reading his work. Please don't listen to ridiculing soundbites. Our issues require serious thought and communication. I believe this book is soaring above the rest because Ron is willing to think and talk about these things.

Is mitt short for mitten?

The L.A. Times with a positive Ron Paul story. Amazing.

Ron Paul supporters are the most engaged and informed base out there. It's not even close. Most Americans hear some sound bites and vote for the person they would like to have a beer with or the one that makes great speeches. Paul supporters are always reading, always learning, always looking for ways to fix this mess we are in. God bless them all and God bless Ron Paul.

Ron Paul 2012--The other canidates are puppets and Dr. Paul has more integrity then all of other canidates (including democrats) put together!

Constitutionally, legislatively, and morally, Ron Paul has no equal. His 22 year voting record speaks for itself.
Mr. Paul has not survived in politics for 22 years and maintain the ethics and morality he has by being anything other than stellar.
If You refute the above comment, then I please invite You to listen to him speak about key issues. It is amazing how well he comes across because he doesn’t have to remember lies like other politicians. He understands what is happening in the world and knows how to apply the basic principles of liberty to achieve the real change that America so desperately deserves.
American to American we are all on the same team. So I present Mr. Ron Paul as my Candidate for 2011 and invite anybody to meaningfully and respectfully debate why he is not the best for American and its people in 2012.
Ron Paul = A real change, not for special interest, but for America’s Interests!
Thank You for Your time
Ron Paul 2012

I think Cain probably tells the truth, but nobody like the truth. That's why his book title turns us off and nobody can figure out if he's right or not. He needs a good PR man. As for Palin- well she's as bad as Obama with empty promises and saying only what we're willing to hear, the dif being her target market spans economic groups instead if racial and ethnic groups. Been there done that comes to mind. Romney, on the other hand, is reaching out and trying to build bridges . . .and boy does America need someone to span the ever increasing cracks and gaps in our democracy.

"If current book sales rankings were votes, Paul would lead"

But Palin's was once at number one. If these are "current" rankings, that would be silly. Ron Paul's book came out just in April.

Good lord. The only reason I pulled this up was because of Palin's name and will be everyone else's.

"Mr. Paul has not survived in politics for 22 years and maintain the ethics and morality he has by being anything other than stellar."

Only the first part of that is factual. The ethic and moral part was also stated about Teddy Kennedy at his funeral who was in Congress for double Paul's time.

Current book sales when we all know Palin's sold a lot more books than Paul did overall is a pretty pathetic measurement. The press right now is chasing her all over the United States and she leads with Romney in the polls.

I like Ron Paul, but he's not poised to take on Obama. He has no star power and he's a sellout when you consider he openly welcomed the endorsement of Sarah Palin last year for his son's Senate run.

Ron Paul's book has only been out about six weeks. It would be interesting to see where the other books were on the list at that same point. Palin's book was on the bestsellers list for about a month. It should also be noted that Palin's first book, Going Rogue, was the biggest selling non-fiction book in 2009, which is amazing since it came out in November 2009. Going Rogue is currently 3,757 at Amazon, fairly good for a book out that long.


How is he a sellout for welcoming a popular person's endorsement for HIS SON'S campaign? If anything, he could see it as the person coming around to their point of view.

Selling out is changing what you believe in, or at least how you act, in order to garner favor from some party. He did not do this and it's Palin being the sellout to the teaparty by endorsing a teaparty candidate (who doesn't have much in common with Palin's viewpoints)


Ron Paul is a divisive hothead. He and his accompanying fanatical supporters don't take kindly to criticism. Here you are trying to define what the tea party is while it is clearly Palin who does the majority of the energizing (along with Bachmann and Cain) of that same crowd. You won't be able to convince Americans to abolish the IRS and to end social security in its entirety.

His supporters pretend as if they're in on some secret. The fact is, he accepted happily her endorsement and you acknowledged why he did it: BECAUSE SHE'S POPULAR! Therefore; it took her endorsement to energize the tea party vote for his son.

She hijacked nothing. Time to break out of your dream bubble.

It's no surprise that book sales isn't proportional to votes. That's because people WHO READ have at least half a brain and would vote for Ron Paul...

Either that or you benefit from status quo.

The Ron Paul Wing of the Republican Party, that is the Jeffersonian-Constitutional Wing of the Republican Party, is where the Republican Party SHOULD be!

Would you rather read a rhetorical advertisement, or actually learn something, be forced to think and come away informed? If you prefer the later, read Ron Paul. No surprise he's at the top.

You forgot to mention that he's also leading in the debates, and most of the polls.

@Steve Your argument isn't logical. Yes, he accepted her endorsement because she's popular...how does that make him a sellout?? He didn't change any of his viewpoints.

Hmm I guess Amazon shoppers are a lot smarter than I had thought.

RON PAUL 2012!

I agree with Jim. Romney is the most likely to take the lead against Obama, but he will be destroyed by Obama. It's easy to pick on a republican like that with a bad history, such as being the creator of obamacare's template. The GOP just isn't going to win with the traditional republican lineup because a lot of the retarded country still thinks Obama is doing the right things. Now, you put Ron Paul up there, the guy who at worst with the most conservatives just won't get their vote (not going to Obama) but will make up for it by stealing a lot of Obama's votes from the liberals, is actually appealing to everyone that is open to voting for someone not like the usual candidates. He will be strong, and able to tear obama apart for his bad policy, with just 30+ years of his own policies untouchable because of the simple fact that he's been right this whole time.

Ron Paul writes books of substance.

Looking forward to vote Ron Paul in 2012!

@Steve 04:09 PM

Ron Paul supporters are not the Tea Party. The Tea Party came out of the direction he was going in and what he was speaking towards in 08. Then the media got a hold of it and tried to buff up the "grassroots" campaign for the 2010 elections.

Many candidates got elected under that platform, yet many of them have gone back on their platforms initial direction. I am not a Tea Party supporter and quite frankly I find most of them to be Fox News junkies. (Cue: Palin and her ilk). I mainly don't like the Tea Party because of Fox News and Palin, although there are people like Rand who do stay true to what they campaigned on.

I just happen to think for myself and found a guy who was right about the economy plus other things (after being laughed off stage in 07-08) and offers actual solutions instead of political speak and status quo. Find me another candidate that provides concise logic and reason of why and why not, how and how not, and I'll welcome an actual intelligent debate in the field of politics.

So I reiterate: How does not compromising (or changing) what you believe in and do in ANY way make you a sellout?

I read Dr. Paul's book. Pretty good. As for Sarah Palin's, it was one of the last to sell at the Borders book store when it went out of business.

God Bless Ron Paul!

I'd choose Liberty over Romney...
Thank you,

Liberty Defined is an amazing book. Thank you Dr. Paul

@ The Paul Supporters (including Noah)

The man wants to do away with social security in its entirety. Think about that. You see what Paul Ryan is going through now for wanting to reform medicare, something that Palin supports. You see the granny being pushed over the side commercials, the hysteria.

Ron Paul makes some pretty good constitutional arguments. But even if they are 100% correct, you have a Supreme Court ruling from 1938 confirming the constitutionality of social security. Even if you and I disagree with it, it's a huge deal to get past.

When someone tries bringing this up to him, he snickers at them. He treats people like Chris Wallace in an interview in a rude manner when they disagree with him. His supporters are unrealistic and since he's never gotten close to the White House, he hasn't begun to deal with what Palin/Ryan and others have already been handling. The left only likes him because of his ideology on national security.

There is no way he will convince 300M Americans that the IRS has to be done away with, we should legalize shooting heroin up at home in an almost-welfare state, and that we should kill social security. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!

You take solid steps to a reversal. Tax cuts, deregulation on most commerce while keeping strict oversight of big oil companies. You reform healthcare in a way that forces irresponsible people who don't pay their medical bills or make an effort to, to take responsibility for their lives without imposing mandates on all of the country.

You cannot just have rights. Every right we have must be countered by a responsibility.

My support continues to go to Palin. She energizes the core of our base, the left attacks her like no other, she doesn't pussyfoot along party lines, and your own God used her endorsement happily for his own son. Palin is big shot at letting the media know they don't control us and you know she'll do the right thing and will be led by the right convictions.

I'm suprised, in this article you called Ron Paul a " high-profile republican." It is highly unusual for the LA Times to acknowledge Ron Paul as anything more than some kind of crazy man. This has to be a first. Wow , I am so impressed.

You wrote a 'blog' that praises his book sales, you must be really working hard to publish something about him that isn't negaive. I'm so proud of you for your objectivity LA Times.

Really? You can do better.

My vote is Ron Paul.

No surprise...Dr. Paul's supporters may be the only people who can read.

Ron Paul's 'Liberty Defined was number 1 in the politics category and number 10 (I think) overall at its peak.

hey you guys at the LA Times are doing good work, your one of the only publications to finally put Ron Paul as a top tier candidate.

Keep up the good work guys (even if some RP supporters keep hating!)

Ron Paul is leading on Google Trends and Alexa. Plus, Ron Paul leading in fundraising.

The 10.25 millions Romney claimed to have raised -- it wasn't real! During that recent one day blitz, Romney actually collected nothing more than a sum of non-binding promises from an untold number of persons who promised they would donate over the course of Romney's campaign. In other words, there is no guarantee Romney will even raise 10.25 millions over the course of his whole campaign, especially if those who promised to donate [to Romney] change their minds and decide not to donate.

@Steve: I don't think any Ron Paul supporter is voting for him because they think the IRS will be dissolved or any of those other extreme things. Those are idealogical and only serve to illustrate his beliefs and the logic he uses to make decisions. The point is to vote for an actual human being who uses logic to make decisions and has actual beliefs that he will stick by. He doesn't just give a bunch of promises on specific issues, he lays out the thought process he uses. So if he were President we would understand how he would approach each unknown situation that would come up.

Palin. Who does Palin serve? Palin serves Palin. Look at her actions and it's obvious. If you want yet another self-serving professional politician, that's certainly your business. Personally, I'm fed up with them on both sides of the isle.

"The man wants to do away with social security in its entirety. Think about that. "

Yeah, we've thought about it.
Think about what you could do yourself with all that money you send to the feds to spend on whatever and giving you IOUs for your retirement.

Ron Paul will not be kicking any old people to the curb. He has clearly stated, he will honor the promises made to people who are already in the Social Ponzi System by using the money saved shutting down unconstitutional spending. Anyone who opts out in the future will be able to keep their money to invest/save for themselves.

And Obama's most recent book, Of The I Sing, is ranked 1,473 which would put him ahead of all but Dr. Paul.
Of course that's a kids book but The Audacity of Hope is at 5,060 which still puts him ahead of the entire GOP field except St. Paul.

Sorry to say it but your guys ain't going to make it and we are going to get healthcare for all Americans.

"healthcare for all Americans"

Except the ones who work at companies (campaign contributors) given waivers.


off to buy Ron's book. good story.

@Steve "You cannot just have rights. Every right we have must be countered by a responsibility."

we do just 'have' rights... they are 'God' given and inalienable. i agree responsibility is important, but my rights aren't granted by any other man or institution. they are mine upon birth (and possibly before... depending on who you talk to).

I love how all the other books have been out longer than Ron Paul's. Maybe they should try writing something of substance.... I sure hope Ron Paul gets the nomination and the presidency, otherwise I'm out of this country.

Well I bought Ron Paul's book today....
To be honest, I only bought it because I made alot of money after I read his book
A Case For Gold. Really, that 12 dollar book made me a few thousand, and I don't believe every Ron Paul book will benefit me financially, but they do make me think...and that is why I invested every spare dollar I had in gold and silver bullion at the time...I was thinking...and I did doubt Paul at first. But, combined with a few other of his recommended books...I believe I'm a better economist than any Democrat or Neocon!!! I'm not really expecting to learn much anything new from this book, cuz Paul's formula is pretty simple ..Austrian Economics are superior!!!

It may be worth noting that Paul's "The Revolution: A Manifesto" is several years old and is still out-ranking the rest of the field.

Like Michael said in an earlier post, Ron Paul's book The Revolution, A Manifesto is a couple of years old and is currently ranked on Amazon at 2024, which is far ahead of the others listed.

Steve's obviously got a big axe to grind against the pauls and does not understand the establishments ability to lie through their teeth regardless of political party. WE need to vote for someone with a 35 year old, consistent track record on voting the CONSERVATIVE line and not to appeasing their corporate masters. Ron Paul 2012!!!

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