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news

Starr-Clinton matter sparks hot-selling book and video

Web posted on: Tuesday, September 22, 1998 4:03:17 PMEDT

By CNN Interactive Writer
Jamie Allen

ATLANTA (CNN) -- The White House might have deplored seeing President Clinton's grand jury testimony televised around the world on Monday, but some folks in the publishing industry had to love the sight.

It seems the books and video associated with prosecutor Kenneth Starr's investigation of President Clinton are top-sellers right now, and the new "Clinton-Starr" industry is apparently receiving another sales boost from the latest developments.

"The Starr Report," a copy of Starr's chronicle of his $40 million, four-year investigation of Clinton that includes, most notably, claims that the president committed perjury over a sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, was put in book form by three different publishers -- PublicAffairs, Prima Publishing and Pocket Books.

Industry insiders said it will occupy the top three spots of USA Today's best-seller list, to be released Wednesday. It was shipped to bookstores last Tuesday.

And the video ...

Meanwhile, Amazon.com, the goliath online bookstore, says the video of Clinton's taped testimony to the grand jury investigating the Lewinsky matter -- which demanded the nation's attention when it was aired on CNN and other networks Monday morning -- is a hot commodity. The four-hour video was ranked No. 1 on its Hot 100 list Tuesday afternoon, followed by Stephen King's "Bag of Bones."

PublicAffairs' "Starr Report" is ranked third, and Simon & Schuster's "Death of Outrage: Bill Clinton and the Assault on American Ideals" by William Bennett is at No. 5.

Prima Publishing's "Starr Report" is nestled at No. 17 on Amazon.com's Hot 100.

'People are nuts about this stuff'

Meanwhile, Barnes and Noble also reports swift sales of "The Starr Report."

"We have not been able to keep them in stock," says Andrew Reed of Atlanta's Barnes and Noble. "They come, almost literally, in the back door, to the bookshelves and out the front door. People are nuts about this stuff."

"They're flying," says Liz Hartman of Pocket Books. "It's amazing and it seems to have not slowed down so far."

Pocket Books initially said it planned to print 500,000 copies of the book. Hartman says they have already sold in the "tens of thousands."

Neither the book sellers nor the publishers would try to envelope the buyers of the book into a certain demographic, but Hartman of Pocket Books says that judging by the volumes of sales, "I would assume (the demographic) is very broad-based."


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