From The Washington Post:
As it happens, Crenshaw and his publisher, Hachette Book Group, got a little help from the Texas Republican’s friends.
The National Republican Congressional Committee, which works to elect GOP candidates to Congress, spent nearly $400,000 on bulk purchases of the book. The organization acquired 25,500 copies through two online booksellers, enough to fuel “Fortitude’s” ascent up the bestseller lists. The NRCC said it gave away copies as incentives to donors, raising $1.5 million in the process.
The NRCC wasn’t the only outfit providing a big-bucks boost to conservative authors. Four party-affiliated organizations, including the Republican National Committee, collectively spent more than $1 million during the past election cycle mass-purchasing books written by GOP candidates, elected officials and personalities, according to Federal Election Commission expenditure reports. The purchases helped turn several volumes into bestsellers.
. . . .
A big buy can launch a book to prominence, unleashing a stream of royalties for its author and potentially driving up cash advances for their next book.
And that can be a significant source of income for lawmakers. Brett Kappel, an attorney who specializes in federal election regulations, said members of Congress are forbidden from earning more than $29,595 in income beyond their federal salaries in 2021. But book advances and royalties are specifically exempted from these limits.
“You can see why writing books is one of the favorite ways for members to earn outside income,” Kappel said.
. . . .
In February, [another Republican organization] paid nearly $65,000 to Regnery Publishing, Cruz’s publisher, for advance copies of Hawley’s forthcoming book. Hawley’s book was supposed to have been published by Simon & Schuster, but the contract was canceled in January after Hawley came in for widespread criticism for challenging Joe Biden’s electoral victory, leading up to the mob attack on the U.S. Capitol.
. . . .
In a series of rulings since 2014, the FEC has advised campaigns to make bulk book buys only through the author’s publisher. This is designed to enable publishers to withhold royalty payments from the author for those purchases, as required by law. Cruz’s campaign followed the FEC guidance in 2015, when it spent nearly $300,000 in campaign funds to buy copies of his previous book directly from the publisher, HarperCollins.
But when it came time to buy thousands of copies of “One Vote Away” last year, the campaign bypassed Cruz’s publisher and went through online retailers Books-a-Million and Barnes & Noble.
Link to the rest at The Washington Post and thanks to Mindy for the tip.
PG notes that, in addition to politicians of all stripes, lots of other people goose initial sales of a book by purchasing a lot of copies during the first couple of days following a book’s release.