No doubt the big summer book will be Bill Clinton's
My Life. While you don't have to be a student of bestsellers to make that statement, political pundits are wondering if the book will have a positive influence for Democrats this election year. Laydown date for My Life has not been finalized, but it will be released toward the end of June, about a month before the Democratic National Convention in Boston. The $35 book will weigh in at around 900 pages, and the ISBN is 0-375-41457-6. Knopf has announced a 1.5-million-copy first printing, the largest ever in the company's history. Its previous largest first printing was 1.2 million copies for Crossing the Threshold of Hope by Pope John Paul ll, released in 1994. First printing for the audio edition of My Life is 250,000 copies, a new record for Random Audio. Last June, Hillary Rodham Clinton's Living History was launched with a one-million-copy printing and it, too, set some records; at Barnes & Noble alone, about 40,000 copies were sold in the first 24 hours, a record for a nonfiction book at the chain.
Knopf has huge expectations for its Clinton title and will be releasing details on the former president's bookstore tour and media schedule later this month. Knopf spokesperson Paul Bogaards said that if the house were to fulfill all the bookseller requests, Clinton could be on tour for more than two years—"The response has been unprecedented." Bogaards also noted that BEA registration enjoyed a big surge after Clinton was announced as the keynoter on opening night (June 3). That event could be the largest single floor event at this annual show. McCormack's Grand Ballroom holds about 3,000; expect the line to begin early Thursday morning.