Book versions of Mueller's report top Amazon bestseller list

WASHINGTON • Book versions of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report were occupying the top spots of Amazon's US bestseller list yesterday, despite being available for free online.

Publishers are hoping to cash in on the intense interest in Mr Mueller's long-awaited report on Russian tampering in the 2016 presidential election and Mr Donald Trump's campaign.

From the moment the 448-page document was released on the Internet on Thursday, three book publishers - Scribner, Melville House and Skyhorse - have been racing to package it in dead-tree format.

Scribner's version, which also features analysis from The Washington Post, was Amazon's No. 1 bestseller yesterday, with Skyhorse's at No. 2. Melville House's was ranked No. 4.

The three books range in price from US$7 (S$9.50) to US$10 and are currently only available for pre-order. The publishers aim to have them hit mailboxes and store shelves within days.

In an interview with US National Public Radio, Skyhorse's editorial director Mark Gompertz said he had a team of nine people available to proofread "throughout the day and night if that's what it takes".

"We have our typesetters sitting here doing it in a proper typographical way. That's a lot easier for people to read when it's set nicely," Mr Gompertz said.

Skyhorse listed Mr Mueller as an author of its book, but he will not be benefiting from the sale. Under federal law, work prepared by the US government is in the public domain.

There is a history in the US of high-profile government reports being sold in paper form.

Both the Starr Report, which detailed former US president Bill Clinton's affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, and the 9/11 Commission Report on the 2001 terrorist attacks on US soil did brisk business for publishers.

DPA, NYTIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on April 21, 2019, with the headline 'Book versions of Mueller's report top Amazon bestseller list'. Print Edition | Subscribe