Bill Clinton Book on Giving Doesn't Inspire Sales

Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton may be No. 1 in the presidential polls, but Bill Clinton is falling off the best-seller lists.

Sales for the former president's "Giving," a handbook for civic activism published by Alfred A. Knopf with an announced first printing of 750,000, have dropped far since its release in early September, when Clinton made numerous media appearances, including interviews with Oprah Winfrey and Larry King.

According to Nielsen BookScan, which tracks about 70 percent of industry sales, "Giving" sold nearly 50,000 copies its first week, but hasn't approached that since. For the week ending Oct. 7, only 9,600 copies sold.

Clinton's previous book was the million-selling memoir "My Life."

Even in Washington, D.C., sales are down. A leading independent store, Politics & Prose, ordered 96 copies of "Giving," but so far has sold just 50.

"It's less than we expected," says the store's co-owner, Barbara Meade, who cited two possible reasons: A book on how to change the world isn't nearly as commercial as a memoir, and Clinton has done far less publicity than he did for "My Life."

"It ('Giving') has kind of dropped out sight," Meade says. "If Clinton had made an appearance at our store, those 96 copies would have been gone long ago."

Knopf's director of publicity, Paul Bogaards, asked by The Associated Press if the publisher was disappointed in sales so far, declined to answer directly. He did say that Clinton would be doing some publicity over the next couple of months.

"Our expectation is that the book will have a long shelf life and enjoy a significant holiday run," Bogaards said.