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The Hype Before Hillary Clinton’s New Memoir

April 8, 2013
Mexican American adult film actress Sativa Rose.

Hillary Clinton testifying to Congress about… Hey, that’s not Hillary Clinton! C’mon guys, that’s not funny!!! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Book lovers who hate politics are going to have a tough time avoiding Hillary Clinton’s new memoir, set to come out next year.  Simon & Schuster, which is publishing the (as of now) untitled book, have declared that they expect it to be one of 2014’s biggest books.  Uh oh.  Now that the bar has been set so high, Simon & Schuster has to do everything in its power to make sure that happens. 

And that means hype.  Lots and lots of hype. 

And if Hillary Clinton’s memoir is expected to be a major book in 2014, that also means I have to talk about it (just this one time). 

Hillary Clinton is a polarizing figure (whether that’s her fault or the fault of her political opponents is for a different blog), but her audience is built in already.  There is a group of people who will purchase her memoir no matter what.  There is a significant group that will cringe at the thought of her book no matter what.  And there are those (like me) who are dreading the hype machine that is just beginning to rev up. 

Hillary Clinton has a history of benefiting from literary hype.  It Takes a Village was a hugely successful book (probably) because of genius marketing.  I never bought the book (it had little to do with Mrs. Clinton.  I was single at the time and wanted nothing to do with child rearing).  I actively avoided the book.  I wanted nothing to do with that book, but I remember the title.  I’ll always remember the title.  I don’t recall where I read/heard about It Takes a Village, but I was aware of it. 

I don’t remember the title of Bill Clinton’s memoir.  But I remember It Takes a Village.  

Official portrait of Secretary of State Hillar...

Official portrait of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Yes, that’s really her… or she. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The media outlets have to hype Hillary Clinton’s book to some degree (if they don’t want the IRS to come after them a few years from now), but the problem now is that they won’t stop.  There was hype when the memoir was announced last week.  There will be hype when a title is chosen.  There’ll be hype when a ghost writer is selected.  And when the memoir is published?  Competing authors better make sure not to premiere their books on the same week. 

This will be Hillary Clinton’s fifth book, and she hasn’t even been elected president yet.  President Obama only had two books published before he became president.  Not only could Hillary Clinton become the first female president of the United States, she could break the record for most books published pre-presidency (I haven’t actually researched that, so I could be wrong). 

Maybe James Patterson should run for president; if he won, nobody would ever break that record. 

I know that by discussing the hype of Hillary Clinton’s memoir, I am adding to the hype, making me part of the problem.  There is a huge difference between me and The New York Times, or NPR, or USA Today (and it’s something other than relevance); I’ll never mention Hillary Clinton’s memoir again. 

A lot of anti-Hillarys were hoping for a year or two of relative Hillary Clinton silence before she begins campaigning for president.  But with the announcement of Hillary Clinton’s new memoir, that silence has been forever shattered.

Brace yourself for the hype.  Lots and lots of hype.

  1. The problem with political memoirs is that most people just aren’t interested in them. I, myself, care quite a bit about politics, but very little for politicians. In order to hold high office in America, a person has to be fairly self-absorbed and rather single minded–qualities that don’t make for interesting reading, by and large.

    So such books hardly ever earn back their spectacular advances. Unfortunately, that doesn’t keep publishers from trying to sell them.

    • I probably won’t buy Hillary Clinton’s memoir. You probably won’t buy it either (I’m pretty sure). But a bunch of people who really like Hillary Clinton will buy it… or a few people who really like Hillary Clinton will buy lots of copies and make it look like a lot of people are buying it. At any rate, Simon & Schuster seems to think a lot of people will buy it. And if they’re wrong, they’ll still be on the good side of our (possibly) next president.

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