Seasoned publicists provide the same advice. One wonders if anyone in Hillary Clinton's circle of advisors advised her about the pros and cons of "Hard Choices."
For one thing, sales of the book can bomb, in two ways. One could be a low ranking on Amazon.com for all to see. The other could be dismal book sales, which enemies can shake loose and leak.
According to Daniel Harper at conservative The Weekly Standard, at publisher Simon & Schuster an insider revealed that "Hard Choice" has been a selling disappointment. Only 60,000 hard copies and 24,000 ebooks had been bought. The publisher was said to have the goal of 150,000 copies sold the first week. Here is that coverage.
Poor sales are more than simply a humiliation. Those who are supposed to be influenced by the book will question the judgment of the author who put it out there. Yes, a book with lousy sales can and will be held against you. That failure can and will follow you the rest of your life. On my networks, I hear all the time: "X's last book was such a failure. People are still laughing."
Secondly, a high-profile book mandates a high-profile tour. If the author is a brandname, you bet, the media will be there. The media and Clinton never got on well together. It's speculated that fear of members of the media could be the number-one reason Clinton might not run for the presidency. So far, so bad for Clinton's tour. Her kick-off interview with Diane Sawyer is still being deconstructed for the mistakes she made. In Chicago and on NPR she didn't do much better.
Third, there are other options to a book. Some might be a whole lot more effective. Currently I am talking with a chef about how he can roll himself out there as his career continues on an upward trajectory. We looked at my ghostwriting a book. Then I decided a documentary, one in the public interest, would be a shrewder move. For that we could probably get funding.
Of course, in much of the professional-services industry, ranging from management consulting to law, a book is still the price of entry. Since it's distributed as a marketing device sales don't matter. A tour isn't required. In that situation, go with the book. Extend its reach with social media.
But for many agendas, including for politicos, a book might not be the road most effectively traveled. Everything changes. That includes the tools for branding.