Dave Weigel says “Mitt Romney knows how to sell things: Confirmed.” I say “Did Willard’s Harvard MBA training and his years as a vulture-capitalist figurehead leave him incapable of handling any transaction without a veneer of disingenuousness ‘salesmanship’, or is he just naturally dishonest?” From Ben Smith’s Politico report on “How Romney made a best-seller“:
Mitt Romney boosted sales of his book this spring by asking institutions to buy thousands of copies in exchange for his speeches, according to a document obtained by POLITICO.
Romney’s book tour ran from early March to late May of this year, and took him to bookstores, universities, conferences and private groups around the country. Their giant purchases helped his book, No Apology: The Case for American Greatness, debut on top of the New York Times best-seller list, though with an asterisk indicating bulk 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. Asking that hosts buy books is also a standard feature of book tours. But Romney’s total price — $50,000 — was on the high end, and his publisher, according to the document from the book tour — provided on the condition it not be described in detail — asked institutions to pay at least $25,000, and up to the full $50,000 price, in bulk purchases of the book. With a discount of roughly 40 percent, 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.
One place he didn’t charge: Iowa State University, where an official noted that they’re accustomed to getting their politicians for free.
Earlier this week, I compared the leading Republican candidates’ speaking fees and wrote that Romney speaks for free. Instead, it appears, he’s priced between Haley Barbour and Mike Huckabee on the open market.
Mitt Romney’s tips on how to get ahead in business…
Be born the son of a former governor and President of a major corporation.
Stay classy, anonymous billboard-renting anti-Obama types.
Yes, there’s a picture. It actually has Obama as a suicide bomber wearing a turban and a band of dynamite around his waist, and so much more.
White America has lost its mind, as they say.
Has a conservative ever written a bestseller that wasn’t because of bulk buys? They didn’t have bulk buys back when Buckley wrote God and Man at Yale, did they? Do we have to go all the way back to Burke?
Romney is a lame candidate who nobody can stand, but I still think he’ll win the nomination. Goopers don’t pick dark horses, and they seem to care who’s turn it is. Then again, with outside groups now having so much power thanks to Citizens United, I might be wrong about that.
So Multiple Choice Mitt boosted his book sales through the same pitiful methods as were used by the Scientologists with Dianetics. Yet further proof that conservative ideas are not really popular out of the wingnut welfare circuit.
Also too, if you have any free time on your hands this weekend, here are some ways you can get involved to help win this election.
Mitt Romney set records for the 50 yard dash, the 100 yard dash, the 440, and the mile as well as the Salt Lake City marathon and he bought the medals to prove it.
Can the Rangers blow another 5-0 lead?
@Mark S.: Dude, don’t go there. And never underestimate the evil that is FTFY.
comrade scott's agenda of rage
Barbara Billingsley just died.
I grew up watching Leave It To Beaver reruns but my best memory was the first time I saw the movie Airplane!
Me and a buddy are in the theater and she stands up and says “Stewardess, I speak jive” and we both exclaimed “Hey, that’s Beaver Cleaver’s Mom!” The audience had a good chuckle.
Don’t forget the gold medal for varmint hunting and marksmanship.
@Mark S.: I hadn’t though of the Republican nominee post Citizens United.
How does that change things? It’d increase the chances of a moneycon like Romney over a theocon like Huckabee, no?
And probably ends Palin’s chances.
What are the christianists going to do when they have to choose between a cultist and a muslin?? OMG!
There’s a really *simple* answer to this: don’t count bulk purchases when computing bestsellers. Boom. Instant crash in the wingnut welfare NYT bestseller bullshit.
@arguingwithsignposts: Can they discern between a bulk purchase and an order from an independent store?
Good question. I assume from the asterisks that they can. Still, with today’s technology, shouldn’t be too diff. to discern.
I know a lot of folks here don’t like Gail Collins, (I do) but if Mitt is the nominee, she’ll be mentioning the dog on the station wagon roof in every column. She has reserved a special place in her little piece of NYT real estate to stick it to Mittens – not that it makes any difference to the teatards – but no one deserves it more. He’ll lose Massachusetts 90% to 10%. He’s like Giuliani – to know him is to hate him. The Republican primaries are going to be awesome. We’re going to need a bigger popcorn bowl.
@Mark S.: Yes. Come on! That’s an easy one. The Mittster is an idiot. But, he’s probably one of the brighter GOP candidates for prez in 2012. Which is just sad.
@jeffreyw: Goddamn it, man. You are killing me. When I go visit ee in Chi-town, we’re going to your place for dinner.
I couldn’t care less about the Mittster. There is no way the Republican partay is going to have a Mormon candidate for president. No way. No how. Ain’t happenin’. They will have Kkkarl Paladino as their nominee before they have the Mittster.
You’ve got a drive ahead of you. IIRC, JW lives in southern Ill. You can pick me up on the way down.
Time to remind folks – you can be making calls to get out the vote:
Organizing for America – DNC claims over 755,000 calls today, target of one million.
Progressive Congressional Change Committee
@arguingwithsignposts: Well, fuck. How much driving total are we talking about? We will totally pick you up on the way. Any other Chi-town/surrounding areas BJers out there?
@jeffreyw: How much time? And, I am not sure ee lives in Chi-town proper.
@asiangrrlMN: LOL! I’m a ways south from there. You might have to pack a lunch to eat on the way to dinner.
I’ll save some soup for ya.
Anybody watching UT-Neb? WTF just happened?
@asiangrrlMN: If he’s in extreme southern Ill., you’re talking at least a 5-hour drive (I’m 3 hours south of CHI and that’s just gettin’ started) :)
@jeffreyw: You are a bad, bad man.
@arguingwithsignposts: Daaaaaaamn. So, mebbe we should all meet in the middle (near you!).
ETA: Oooh. I know someone who lives there. Cool.
@Mark S.: I am watching Arkansas/Auburn. Damn, I love me some SEC football.
I guess it was a pooch punt that got returned 95 yards. Waaaaaaaaay too early for an onside. Lots of questionable coaching.
Prob. Champaign/Urbana would be a good call – about halfway between CHI and JW. I’m within an hour from there.
DougJ is the business and economics editor for Balloon Juice.
Great catch. That is really interesting.
It’s a smart move by Romney.
Authors have done bulk buys for decades. Usually they purchase directly from the publisher (which aren’t included in bestseller lists), but sometimes they and organizations work out deals with bookstores. The NYT bestseller lists indicate this kind of transaction with a dagger by the title. I would think, though, that if a group was buying a large quantity, they’d get a better price from the publisher.
Ironic that the creator of a hate-filled billboard would complain of hateful e-mails.
over 776,000 now. 1,000 calls a minute.
Enthusiasm Gap? really?
Just switched over there. One of those classic SEC defensive struggles!
Cash rules everything aroubd you? Well CRACK rules everything around ME! Ghostface’s Woodrow the Basehead
@asiangrrlMN: As you head that way, wave in the direction of Rockford, I’ll wave back.
Let us never speak of this again. And yeah that score is a hoot.
They’ve done the impossible: made me feel sorry for Arkansas.
Geez, OSU is already down by 14.
@Mark S.: No kidding. I guess it was offense only day.
@NobodySpecial: You should come!
@Yutsano: Shut it, hon. Not every game can be a defensive gem.
Or, in honor of hockey, Goooo Wild! (Stupidest team name evah).
@asiangrrlMN: I’m gonna need to know when and where, and in plenty of time. Work’s a something or other.
Probably. I can’t think of a single book an indy bookstore would order more than 100 of at a time, and, realistically, probably not more than 30 or so. (The 100 would be if you were going to have a popular author do a reading in your store.) You just need enough for a good display, if you’re really pimping the book or expecting big demand, and it is über-fast to get more copies.
The article above seems to be talking about orders in the hundreds and even thousands for Romney’s book. Those would stick out like a sore thumb: “Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble, State U. Young Republicans,” etc.
ETA: I believe the Times gets reports (electronic or otherwise) from actual bookstores and chains, so it might be that everything that shows up in “Other” or “Miscellaneous” is so-called “bulk sales.”
@NobodySpecial: If I actually pull it together, I will give a general shout-out well in advance of the actual get-together.
@Steeplejack: Holla. You still on vaca, Steepman?
Hm. Maybe I’ll do a cross-country meet the BJers trip. There has to be money in that, amirite?
@arguingwithsignposts: What if I drive nekkid the whole way? That would do it, I bet.
heh. ppl make money off dogs in buckets, so I guess anything is possible.
Define ‘money’. I got some Euros for when things go tits up.
You betcha. Just wrote to you upstairs.
Why don’t they just disqualify bulk purchased “best sellers” from the list entirely?
@b-psycho: ‘Coz that would make too much sense.
@NobodySpecial: Tits up. How apt. If I can make money that way, I’ll take it!
@asiangrrlMN: No comment!
Wile E. Quixote
A friend of mine worked at an independent bookstore in the early 1980s when Battlefield Earth was released. There was an office of the CoS down the street and one of the Scientologists came in one day and asked what would happen, hypothetically speaking, if a bunch of people bought a book, no titles mentioned of course, and then waited a few weeks and returned it. Would this help the sales figures and push the book onto the bestseller list.
Bruce explained that no, it wouldn’t, because in order for a book to be counted as a bestseller you had to, you know, sell it, and if you sold it and someone returned it in a few weeks it wasn’t really a sale now, was it. Then he told the manager of the store about his conversation and they decided not to stock any more of L. Ron Hubbard’s books because they didn’t want to end up with a bunch of returned copies.
For those saying that Romney’s Mormonism dooms his chances of being the Republican nominee, it doesn’t seem to be hurting Glenn Beck’s career as a televangelist/propagandist/gold scammer.
Is Papa Del’s still there? Does Deluxe Billiards still have those fish sandwiches on Fridays?
My mouth is watering with memories.
@Origuy: Papa Dels is still here and good as ever, but alas, the Deluxe is no more. :-(
Every right-wing pundit does this, of course, as Al Franken has described in his books.
And what elected office does Glenn Beck hold?
And how many divisions does he have?
Reading the NYT Book Review on paper for years and years, the right-wing books always always have that dagger indicating bulk sales. And then end up at Costco or Wal-Mart for a buck, or on Amazon for a penny.
Why this isn’t a scandal proper journalists don’t cover, I will never know. (Hello NYT? What’s in it for you to keep this scam going?) Because it’s been going on for years and years. “Anne Coulter, #1 NYT Best Selling Author”! Do you think anyone shells out $25 for that shit in hardback? All of them pull this fakery, it has a long history.
There was an apochryphal story of Joe Kennedy warehousing tons of JFK’s book when he was Senator to make it a best seller. I sort of believe it. Even the most ardent FOX News fan won’t be spending $25 to read loads of triple-spaced wide margin shit he’s already heard.
“And how many divisions does he have?”
Do old ladies in Hoverounds count?