In a completely unsurprising turn of events, it turns out that the preorders for Sarah Palins book Going Rogue were not just a fluke. Shes sold 300,000 copies in her first day alone. Harper-Collins is undoubtedly thrilled.
Going Rogue is going gangbusters, and it looks like both Palin and her publisher, HarperCollins, are going to make some serious money off of it. According to industry insiders, Palin got a $7 million advance for her book. She’s earning a royalty rate of 15 percent, which means she makes $4.35 per book sold, and therefore needs to sell 1.6 million books to earn out her advance. The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that HarperCollins had printed another 100,000 copies of Going Rogue, bringing the total in print to 1.6 million. Palin would need to sell all of those to earn out her advance, so it’s unlikely that’s going to happen.
But HarperCollins will be making money long before that. There’s a rule of thumb in the industry that publishers net about $10 per hardcover sold, after expenses, but before the cost of the advance. Once she’s sold 700,000 copies, then, HarperCollins is in the black. And what of that 1.6 million printed? An ideal “sell-through” rate is about 75 percent, which means HarperCollins thinks it’s going to sell about 1.2 million copies. At that level, Palin will have made $7 million and HarperCollins $5 million of its own.
A HarperCollins insider told The Daily Beast that the book sold a staggering 300,000 copies on the first day alone, which was Tuesday. “Sales are phenomenal, and we are convinced that the book will continue to sell phenomenally for some time to come,” says the insider. They’re not prevaricating: As of 2:30pm today, the book was #1 on Amazon, ahead of both Stephen King’s new novel, Under the Dome, and Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol. The latter sold 1 million copies on its first day, but that figure included the UK, and top fiction generally trumps non-fiction. Any way you carve it, Going Rogue looks to be a $12 million goldmine.
On top of that, her favorables are rising.
As Sarah Palin blankets the media on a whirlwind book promotion tour, the former vice-presidential contender is clearly back on Americas radar screen. Despite being characterized by many as a divisive force in her party and the nation, Americans are much more likely to give Palin a positive rating (47 percent favorable) than another prominent female leader Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (28 percent favorable). Moreover, about six in 10 Americans (61 percent) think Palin has been treated unfairly by the press, according to the latest Fox News poll.
Something tells me that the longer Democrats are in power, the more likeable Sarah Palin is going to be to Americans. Love her or hate her (and I love her), you cannot deny that she is on fire right now. 1500 people waited in the freezing cold to meet her. Theres even polling showing that, if the 2012 presidential race were held today, and Palin was running against Obama, theyd basically be in a dead heat among independents, the most important block of voters later. The mainstream media may try to demean and diminish her, but her star is clearly rising. And unless Obama suddenly turns into some kind of fiscal hawk overnight (not likely), shes just going to keep looking better and better.
2012 is looking like a better and better year.