Hillary Clinton's book, What Happened, isn't even on shelves yet and it's already on the clearance rack.
The tome, where Clinton shakes her Magic 8-Ball repeatedly to reveal exactly what caused her to lose the November presidential election (because, of course, it couldn't have been her), hits stores on Tuesday, and several major booksellers have slashed prices by more than 40%.
Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Barnes & Noble online list the book's hardcover edition for $17.99, a steep discount from the cover price of $30.
That's definitely helping the book climb the bestseller charts; What Happened is already the #6 bestseller on Amazon and, as of Tuesday morning, is just shy of clearing the top ten on Wal-Mart.
Amazon and Barnes & Noble both regularly discount new releases that they believe will be big sellers, but it's almost certain that publisher Simon & Schuster is in on the plan. After paying Clinton a reported $18 million (or more) for her thoughts on the presidential election (as well as a re-issue of her 1995 book, It Takes a Village, and a forthcoming compilation of the failed Democratic candidate's favorite quotes), the publisher wants to make sure Clinton cracks into The New York Times bestseller list.
Why such a deep discount, though? Well, if Clinton's previous works are any indication, there will be a lot of leftover copies of What Happened lining store shelves come Christmas. Clinton's memoir Hard Choices, sold well its first week, but sales dropped by 43.5% the second week. Her book with then-vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine, Stronger Together, sold less than 3,000 copies in its first week.
Unless people are really curious as to "what happened," the publisher is right to be fearful Clinton's latest work will tank, too.