NEW YORK – A week ago, Barnes & Noble, Inc., announced it would not keep copies of the new edition of O.J. Simpson's "If I Did It" in its stores, saying the book was not expected to sell well.
Since then, the book has jumped into the top 50 on the superstore's online site, Barnes & Noble.com, and ranked No. 48 as of Sunday night. Barnes & Noble has not changed its mind.
"We still have no plans to stock it in our stores," spokeswoman Mary Ellen Keating told The Associated Press on Sunday. The book, coming out this fall, can be purchased through Barnes & Noble.com, or by special order at a Barnes & Noble store.
Simpson's book was first scheduled for publication last November by ReganBooks, an imprint of HarperCollins, with an announced printing of 400,000. But "If I Did It" was dropped in response to widespread outrage, including from relatives of murder victims Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman.
The book is a ghostwritten, hypothetical description of how the killings might have happened.
But last month, a federal bankruptcy judge awarded rights to the book to Goldman's family to help satisfy a $38 million wrongful death judgment against Simpson. "If I Did It," spurned by mainstream publishers, is being reissued by Beaufort Books, a small press based in New York. The Goldmans are calling the book a confession, and extensive commentary will be added to the original manuscript.
Eric Kampmann, the owner and president of Beaufort Books, has questioned Barnes & Noble's reason for not stocking the book, telling the AP in a recent interview that he suspects the superstore's executives were "making their decision based on the HarperCollins experience, which was a totally different situation."
A rival chain, Borders Group Inc., will stock the book, but, according to spokeswoman Ann Binkley, "will not promote or market the book in any way."
Interest jumped last week after TV host Oprah Winfrey announced that on Sept. 13 she would bring together Denise Brown, Nicole Brown Simpson's sister; and Goldman's parents, Fred and Kim Goldman. Brown has accused the Goldmans of hypocrisy for publishing a book that he had called "disgusting and despicable" when Simpson first planned to publish it.
Simpson has maintained his innocence in the 1994 killings in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles.