Keller @ Large: Patrick Book Not Box Office Boffo

Gov. Deval Patrick’s memoir may be compelling. But it isn’t selling — at least, not selling well enough so far to justify the $1.3 million advance paid by Broadway Books for “A Reason to Believe: Lessons from an Improbable Life.”

The book was officially released on April 12, kicking off a media blitz including high-profile appearances on the “Today Show” and “The Daily Show.” Thirty-five days later, after a one-week-stand at #25 on the New York Times bestseller list and a one-week visit to the Boston Globe’s list, Nielsen Bookscan had logged 4,293 copies sold, according to data supplied by an industry source.

By comparison, in March, Politico noted that roughly a month after the release of his memoir, Sen. Scott Brown had a “disappointing” 15,534 copies sold, also according to Nielsen Bookscan, which monitors bookstore sales. (It’s not known how many copies were purchased by Brown himself for use as gifts to supporters and donors, a common industry practice that Patrick has so far eschewed, according to a spokesman for his campaign committee.)

With the national publicity tour behind him and only a sparse schedule of local appearances by the author still advertised on the Broadway Books website, the sales future of the book is uncertain. Says one high-placed executive in the publishing industry: “If I was the editor who paid $1.3M for a book that’s netted that many copies in its first month of publication, I’d be looking for a new job.”

More from Jon Keller
  • mikey

    I have no interest in reading an “I, I, I” book. It appears that I’m not alone.

  • clayt

    hope his re-elction campaign goes as well

    • roudydowdy

      He’s not running for reelection.

  • blackbear1

    Aren’t you supposed to have accomplished something, or been in office for a while before publishing?? This man who was elected only by social engineering and the ever liberal media in this one party state has no business publishing memoirs!!

    • graywolf

      I’m a bit curious about the one party state since Duval was preceded by four republican governors and Massachusetts has a very long list of other republican governors.

      • graywolf

        Sorry Jon – I was typing quickly and one thing it was absolutely not being was disrespectful as that is not anything I would ever do. Although, I think we have had better governors, I also think we have had far worse. I do think he has helped a great deal to keep MA on a better track than many other states during the recession and have voted for him for both terms.

      • Jon Keller

        graywolf….a friendly reminder: please take care when commenting here to refer properly to the governor, Deval (not “Duval”) Patrick. Disagreement with him or any other politician is welcome; casual disrespect is not. Thank you.

  • BostonIrish

    It is most definitly a one party state. The past governors were lucky enough to get the majority of the independent voters. It’s been that way since Weld. This governor was lucky to have gone up against 2 opponents that couldn’t convince the independents they were the better candidate. But this is a one party state.

    • graywolf

      I’d agree it’s a more liberal state but in my opinion one party is a misnomer. Since 1900 there have been 19 republican governors and 14 democrat governors. Since 1940 there have been 10 R’s and 8 D’s. I also believe we’ve had 7 republican senators and 4 democrats since 1900. Numbers could be off by one or two but either way it clearly is not one party.

      • graywolf

        If you are defining Massachusetts by two terms, you are of course correct. However, I don’t believe you can define a state by one or two terms. Historically Massachusetts is not a one-party state. We also have a newly elected senator who is a republican. I believe that the Massachusetts republican party has failed in recent years to produce anyone who can compare to it’s history of outstanding governors. Sadly, many voted for Duval this term not because they like him but because his opponent was less qualified. I am not convinced that the democrats have been stronger in MA as much as I am convinced the GOP is not what it once was in this state or perhaps moved too far from its center. Proof of that to me is, In my memory, MA has been a more liberal state yet it’s GOP managed to have the majority of senators and governors elected.

      • BostonIrish

        The House, the Senate, the Governor, all liberal democrats. The last three Speakers of the House have been brought up on criminal charges. All democrats. The taxes, for which our state is nicknamed for, all brought on by the party of taxation, the one party that controls the money. How can you say it’s a more liberal state and claim it’s not one party with the majority of power? Republicans aren’t liberals.

    • Jon Keller

      graywolf….you did it again! Please be careful. Thank you!

      • graywolf

        Jon – I did it BEFORE I saw your first comment. Benefit of the doubt goes a long way especially when I already apologized.

  • graywolf

    I should add that I agree that he has no business publishing memoirs. That they are not selling should not surprise anyone except the publisher who deserves to be surprised for foolishly investing.


    Off to the 99 cent bin!!

  • Darlene

    Yawn, lets move on, shall we.

  • Willow

    Nothing Deval has to say in his memoirs would interest me. What does interest me is the issues in this state. Why doesn’t he just stick to that instead of wasting time and money to write and publish a book that very few are interested in?

  • emom

    REALLY , did he even believe this would truely sell,, After all with the negative comments in the news about him and the fact not many really cares WHAT he has to say…. I see this book landing on a dut covered shelf somewhere, no where,, or maybe on the discount shelves somewhere ….. I would not even spend a penny on that book, He has not done much in this state to even earn respect… From what I see and read,, I still cant understand how in the world he even got elected the 2nd time… yeah what a waste,, OH by the way,,, the money he spent on it ,,,, where will he get it to repay the publishers,,,, just wondering

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