I just saw this in yesterday's New York Daily News:
Former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer received a reported $500,000 advance for his memoir, "Taking Heat," which was launched last month by William Morrow with an eye-popping press run of 200,000. That's a lot of dead trees to spin a happy (and, by most accounts, news-free) yarn about the all-around fabulosity of President Bush. Alas, Fleischer's publisher has just placed a tiny little ad in Publishers Weekly Online announcing "a special price promotion for retailers and wholesalers" - often a buzz phrase in the publishing biz for throwing in the towel, admitting a big overestimation of demand and trying desperately to avoid an avalanche of returns by slashing the price. A William Morrow spokeswoman insisted: "It's a Mother's Day and Father's Day promotion." But according to Nielsen Bookscan, Fleischer's volume had sold less than a tenth of the copies in print as of March 3.
That's nice, by the way -- "a Mother's Day and Father's Day promotion." Yeah, nothing says "I love you, Mom!" like Ari Fleischer's memoir.
(Via Publishers Lunch.)