New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo earned $783,000 for his memoir, which has sold only 3,200 copies since it was published 2½ years ago, the Buffalo News reports.
Cuomo’s “All Things Possible: Setbacks and Success in Politics and Life” was published by the Harper Collins imprint Harper in October 2014. The publisher ordered a print run of 200,000 copies, but sold only 3,200.
The paper totaled payments reported by Cuomo on his taxes in 2013 and 2014 ($565,000) and 2016 ($218,000) related to the book. His 2016 tax filings were made public Monday.
The payments to Cuomo mean that he’s earned $245 for each book sold. A spokesperson for Harper Collins declined to comment on Cuomo’s book deal to the Buffalo News.
Cuomo spokesman Richard Azzopardi said only that “this payment was contractual and per the agreement with the publisher.”
After the disappointing sales of the hardcover edition of the book, Harper Collins decided not to issue the book in paperback, the Wall Street Journal reported in February 2016. The book’s hardcover retail prices is $29.99; today the book can be purchased at a discount on Amazon, which is selling new copies of the hardcover for $13.05.
Cuomo, a Democrat often mentioned as a potential presidential candidate in 2020, declined invitations to appear on television programs like “The Daily Show” to promote the book, according to a March 2015 Wall Street Journal report.
Cuomo’s editor, Claire Wachtel, said the publisher was blindsided by Cuomo’s decision not to plug the book on television. Cuomo’s aides “did not warn us that he wouldn’t promote the book if it came out before the [2014 gubernatorial] election,” Wachtel said.
The governor isn’t the only member of his household with a literary pedigree. His life partner, the television chef Sandra Lee, is the bestselling author of 17 books, including a 2007 memoir, “Made from Scratch.”