Rod Blagojevich will be sentenced in October, but his book is already in trouble
But whatever his prison sentence might be, Blagojevich's memoir is already serving its own sentence -- on remainder tables. "The Governor" was published by Phoenix Books in 2009 with a cover price of $24.95. Now you can get it new from Amazon resellers for $2.80. And used? Five retailers list it for just 1 penny (plus shipping).
In March 2009, it was announced that Blagojevich got six figures for the book. "The governor chose to go with a large independent company because he wanted to tell his story without any restrictions over content that might've come with a major publishing house," said his publicist Glenn Selig. "He simply did not want to accept constraints or conditions on what he could say in this book." Selig added ominously, "There were some people in high places who didn't want the governor to write this book and worked to try to squash a book deal."
But what is more ominous than obscurity?
No one expects a book published two years ago to still be on top of the bestseller lists -- unless you're "The Help" or talking about a girl with a dragon tattoo -- but "The Governor" is going for peanuts -- less than peanuts. Who can buy a peanut for a penny (plus shipping)?
Yet the way of "The Governor" seems to be the fate of most political memoirs. Other books that can be bought on Amazon for a penny (plus shipping): Andrew Young's "The Politician: An Insider's Account of John Edwards's Pursuit of the Presidency and the Scandal That Brought Him Down" and "Staying True" by Jenny Sanford, whose husband, Mark Sanford, former governor of South Carolina who said he went hiking on the Appalachian trail when he was off with his mistress.
What bucks the trend? Two recent books by conservative ladies: Bristol Palin's "Not Afraid of Life: My Journey So Far" and Ann Coulter's "Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America." The lowest-priced used copies are $11 and up.
-- Carolyn Kellogg
Photo: Rod Blagojevich in Chicago July 15. Credit: Associated Press