When a book is published and it's clear right away that it's not selling, it's common practice for its publisher and booksellers to drop the price to 50% off -- it's called a "shared markdown." Seller and publisher agree to make less money per copy, in a desperate attempt to get people to buy the damn thing.
Three new books I saw at 50% off at various Barnes & Nobles in the last couple of days were Rumsfeld: A Personal Portrait, the mash note by Midge Decter; Reflections: Life After the White House, by Barbara Bush, rude, nasty mother of the current president and most prominent influence on his personality; and Red, White & Liberal: How Left Is Right & Right Is Wrong by Sean Hannity's TV doormat, Alan Colmes. The Decter and Colmes books, I see, are also at the fire-sale price on the B&N Web site.
It couldn't have happened to three more deserving people.