Updated with new totals on June 4, at 11 am EDT
If we can’t judge a book by it’s cover, can we judge a candidate by his or her book sales?
Hillary Clinton’s supporters hope so.
The writing former first lady already has outsold all potential 2016 presidential candidates from both parties, according to Nielsen BookScan data — and her much anticipated “Hard Choices” has yet to drop in book stores.
Clinton, however, might have to keep an eye over her left shoulder. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat who disavows any intention of running for president in 2016, comes closest in the literary primaries.
Warren’s 10 books have sold 160,300 copies, compared with Clinton’s lifetime sales of 1.5 million.
Those figures put both Clinton and Warren well above every possible Republican contender — at least in terms of book sales.
Nielsen’s BookScan data includes hard copy sales of books — and excludes the electronic downloads. The New York-based company estimates they monitor about 85 percent of the book market.
Warren’s figures are surging on 50,000 sales of the April release of “A Fighting Chance,” a book that chronicles the Washington battles of the Democratic senator from Massachusetts. It also includes less popular tomes from Warren’s Harvard Law professor days, including “Bankruptcy & Article 9, 2011 Statutory Supplement” — which can only be found on about 600 bookshelves worldwide.
Clinton’s numbers are buoyed by the 1.4 million copies sold of “Living History,”’ her 2003 autobiography. “It Takes a Village” found 34,700 buyers. The clear loser in Hillaryland was “Dear Socks, Dear Buddy: Kids’ Letters to First Pets,” which sold 1,000 copies, according to Nielsen.
On the Democratic side, mainly people who could see an opening if the former secretary of state and senator from New York doesn’t seek her party’s nomination in 2016: Vice President Joe Biden, peddled nearly 50,000 copies of his sole book ,“Promises to Keep: On Life and Politics.”
Maryland’s Gov. Martin O’Malley hasn’t written a book … yet.
His Celtic rock band, O’Malley’s March, has released four CDs that have sold a total of 2,300 copies. The most popular, according to Nielsen, which also tracks CD sales, was the 2000 album “Wait for Me.”
Clinton may not be waiting.
On the Republican side, Texas Gov. Rick Perry leads the book club with 45,800 copies of his two books in circulation.
Next comes Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who’s “An American Son” sold 37,000 copies (and was far more popular than the “100 Innovative Ideas for Florida,” which found a mere 500 buyers.)
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is third, with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum rounding within a few thousand book sales of each other.
The last place in the potential Republican field, oddly, is held by the most buzz-worthy Republican non-candidate: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. His 2013 book with Clint Bolick is called “Immigration Wars: Forging an American Solution.” It has sold a mere 5,300 copies.