Sarah Palin's Book Is Already on Clearance

With just under a month to go before it's released to the masses, Sarah Palin's upcoming autobiography, Going Rogue, has already been near the top of Amazon's bestseller list for weeks. No surprise, considering the enormous amount of interest—both bad and good—the former Alaska governor has generated since John McCain named her as his vice presidential running mate last year. But there may be more to the story: over the past week or so, Amazon has been steadily dropping the price of Palin's book to compete with other retailers, including Wal-Mart, which offered it for presale at $10. Amazon, which originally listed it at $28.99, is now basically giving the book away for a measly $9. This, as my fellow NEWSWEEKer Sarah Ball notes, is cheaper than buying a copy of Pat the Bunny. Heck, even How to Win Friends and Influence People is priced higher. Of course, it would be absolutely, positively un-American for Wal-Mart to back down from its promise of offering people the absolute lowest price, and now it's reportedly charging $8.98 for the Palin opus. By your Gaggler's math, that's a whopping 2 cents a page, or, as we'd describe it, practically free. Will Amazon go even lower? Could there be a buy-one-get-one-free scenario in the offing? Not likely, now that the trade association representing independent bookstores has gotten involved. It has asked the Justice Department to investigate Amazon, Wal-Mart, and Target (a partner with Amazon) for charging below-cost prices for books in order to dominate the bookselling industry. You know what that means: buy your copies now.