Posnanski's "Paterno" Hits Shelves, But Sales Off To Slow Start
A manager at the on-campus Penn State Bookstore said that yesterday he "sold 30 to 40 copies of the Joe Paterno biography, written by Joe Posnanski," according to Jessica Tully in a special to USA TODAY. He said that most of those "buying the book were non-students." The manager "attributed the lukewarm interest in the book to the lack of students currently on campus," as fall classes do not begin until next Monday. He also said that students "were trying to move on from the scandal and the overwhelming news media coverage over the last 10 months had been a lot to digest." Student Bookstore GM John Lindo, whose store is independent from PSU, said that about "40 students and area residents" purchased the biography at his store yesterday morning. The store had "only 40 copies in stock Tuesday but was expecting to have at least 80 available today" (USA TODAY, 8/22). In Pennsylvania, Matt Morgan notes the book "did sell well online," as it was "in the top 15 of sales on Amazon.com on Tuesday and has been in the top 100 for the previous seven days." Lindo said that he "expects to start moving more books in less than two weeks, when the football crowds swarm the town once again." A Barnes and Noble employee said that the chain's State College, Pa., location "sold all 80 of its copies via pre-order ... as customers were stopping by to pick up their prepaid copies" (CENTRE DAILY TIMES, 8/22).
NIXING THE HARD SELL: ESPN.com's Darren Rovell wrote if the book "is to sell out of its first printing of 100,000 copies, it obviously must sell well around State College." But Lindo said, "It hasn't exactly been a rush." Meanwhile, publisher Simon & Schuster "cut some planned appearances by Posnanski, who was reportedly paid a $750,000 advance for the title, with only a date in Kansas City, Mo., currently on his book tour." Posnanski previously worked as a columnist at the K.C. Star. Aside from writing a column this week in USA Today, Posnanski "has been relatively quiet" (ESPN.com, 8/21).
EARNING JOE PA'S TRUST: Posnanski said that the Paterno family "never tried to limit his access to them after the Jerry Sandusky scandal broke." He added that the Paternos "wanted their story to be told and trusted him to do it fairly." Posnanski: "They never said, 'Hey, leave this out or don't put this in.' Or this might be misconstrued or whatever. They were, every one of them, said tell the truth the best you see it." He added that neither he nor his editors at Simon & Schuster "ever considered calling off the project or delaying it as the Sandusky scandal mounted" (AP, 8/21).