Palin's book already on bestseller list

Juneau book seller, library system report moderate interest

Posted: Friday, October 02, 2009

NEW YORK - Move over, Dan Brown. Sarah Palin is on top of the charts.

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Just two days after HarperCollins announced that Palin's "Going Rogue" had been moved up from the spring to Nov. 17, preorders Wednesday night for the former Alaska governor's memoir made it No. 1 on both and Barnes &

Among the books "Going Rogue" is outselling: Sen. Ted Kennedy's "True Compass," Mitch Albom's "Have a Little Faith" and Brown's "The Lost Symbol," his first novel since "The Da Vinci Code" and, perhaps until now, the year's most anticipated release.

Palin, in collaboration with author Lynn Vincent, completed her 400-page book just four months after agreeing to terms with HarperCollins, which plans a first printing of 1.5 million copies. It's the first book by Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate and Alaska governor until suddenly resigning last summer.

She is regarded as a possible 2012 contender for the presidency. Past candidates, notably Barack Obama, have been helped by writing best-selling books, invaluable platforms for politicians to tell their story.

The response at Alaska bookstores was mixed.

At Hearthside Books in Juneau, owner Debbie Reifenstein said preorders have been coming in for the $28.95 book, but that she hasn't been inundated by requests.

"It's not as big as Harry Potter," she said.

Sue Fry, collection development librarian for Juneau Public Libraries, plans to stock at least one copy of the book at each of the three library branches.

"You betcha," Fry quipped.

Fry said there's already been "a flurry of interest" in it, and guesses by the release date, its waiting list will probably be comparable to the 20-deep list for Brown's last novel when it arrived.

A woman taking a call at Waldenbooks in Wasilla, Palin's hometown, said she was pre-ordering a copy at that moment and there had been "lots of interest." She would not give her name but referred a reporter to her boss, Borders district manager Grant Larsen, who said interest had been strong both in Wasilla and Anchorage.

"We're very excited about it and already have several signed up," he said. "We're expecting that to be massive."

A lot of people are coming into the store and asking to reserve a copy, Larsen said. Borders booksellers also are asking customers if they want to reserve one. The more people reserve copies, he said, the more copies the stores will get.

Julie Drake, co-owner of Anchorage's largest independent bookstore, Title Wave, stopped to quiz her booksellers about Palin's book.

"Nobody has said a word. Not a single customer has asked about it. I don't know what that means. Maybe we're all going rogue, going all mavericky," she said.

• The Juneau Empire and Associated Press writer Dan Joling in Anchorage contributed to this story.

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