DC booksellers expected 'Fire and Fury' crowds for Comey book. Instead, they got mostly journalists

When "Fire and Fury" hit bookshelves in January, the release became a Washington event, marked by people lining up at...

Posted: Apr 17, 2018 7:26 PM
Updated: Apr 17, 2018 7:26 PM

When "Fire and Fury" hit bookshelves in January, the release became a Washington event, marked by people lining up at local bookstores and sold-out speaking events for author Michael Wolff. Washingtonian even compared the hype around the release to that of "Harry Potter."

But DC's book nerds didn't turn up for James Comey's "A Higher Loyalty." At least not in the masses booksellers might have expected.

At around midnight at Kramerbooks on Monday, the bookstore on DC's Dupont Circle was mostly filled with reporters carrying cameras and notepads.

"There are more cameras here than people," one person joked.

Another journalist asked the room: "Is anyone a normal person or is everyone a journalist?"

Only one person -- reluctantly -- identified himself as a "normal person."

"I wanted to see it for myself and read it, especially after Comey's ABC interview. I'm more curious now," said Matthew Hoeck, who was immediately approached by a handful of reporters in the room.

The 24-year-old, who would only disclose that he "works in politics," came to Kramerbooks for "Fire and Fury" as well.

"Different experience today," he said, laughing.

But the lack of lines at Kramerbooks doesn't mean the former FBI director's book is destined to be a flop. In fact, the publishing house, Macmillan, has printed 850,000 copies in anticipation of intense interest from the public.

It's also already generated a ton of buzz and publicity, with Comey making his media rounds all week.

Trump lashed out at Comey in a tweet on Friday morning.

"James Comey is a proven LEAKER & LIAR," he wrote.

So where were the DC diehard politics nerds on Monday night? A few book buyers had theories as to why the line paled in comparison to Wolff's release.

"I think people want an inside perspective on this administration," said 25-year-old Phillip Carlisle, who was the first to buy a book. "People want drama."

Carlisle said while Comey's book will certainly shed light on Trump's presidency, Wolff's book is what some perhaps considered "more sexy."

"I liked Wolff's book a lot but he is not a trustworthy person," he said. "Part of what made that so exciting is there were all these details coming out and you weren't sure what was real and what wasn't."

Carlisle said he showed up to get Comey's book early because he lives close to Kramerbooks, and because he "really love(s) James Comey."

"I think that he is a very admirable person," Carlisle, who identifies as "very liberal," said. "I'm expecting his book to be far more honest, far more accurate, than everything else I read in 'Fire and Fury.'"

Kramerbooks owner Steve Salis told CNN on Monday afternoon that the store had 600 copies of the book available.

"It's fascinating because I think in the book industry today it's almost like the movie business," Salis told CNN. "It's kind of like we've had two box office hits this year, and they happen to be around something to do with Trump."

Salis was prepared for big crowds, though he did note they do not "overly plan for anything."

"Our responsibility is to give the customers what they want," he said, noting interest in Comey's book.

At around 12:30 a.m. on Tuesday -- as most reporters with their cameras and customers began trickling out -- a Kramerbooks employee began stacking piles of copies in the front of the store.

By contrast, Wolff's book had sold out within 15 minutes of being available at the same store, according to reports from several outlets, including The Hill and USA Today.

With the success of Wolff's book, other book vendors in DC had also seemingly overprepared for Comey's book launch, promoting it heavily on social media.

Politics and Prose had such interest in the Q&A with Wolff for "Fire and Fury," it had to move its event to a larger venue. Still, on Tuesday morning -- when doors opened at 9 a.m. -- there weren't lines of people to buy the book, just customers who came to pick up their pre-ordered copies.

Solid State Books, also in DC, opened its doors at 10 a.m. ET.

"It's almost time!" the bookstore tweeted.

Indeed.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 319704

Reported Deaths: 7369
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22276267
Hinds20677421
Harrison18407317
Rankin13880282
Jackson13689248
Madison10249224
Lee10056176
Jones8464167
Forrest7827153
Lauderdale7260242
Lowndes6509150
Lamar634888
Lafayette6310121
Washington5420137
Bolivar4837133
Panola4669110
Oktibbeha466098
Pearl River4604147
Marshall4573105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425373
Union415777
Monroe4155135
Neshoba4061179
Lincoln4008112
Hancock386687
Leflore3515125
Tate342486
Sunflower339491
Pike3369111
Alcorn325972
Scott320174
Yazoo314171
Adams307486
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma298784
Simpson298189
Tippah291968
Prentiss283861
Leake271974
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264442
Grenada264087
George252051
Newton248663
Tishomingo231568
Winston229981
Jasper222148
Attala215073
Chickasaw210559
Holmes190374
Clay187854
Stone187833
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174132
Yalobusha167840
Smith164034
Walthall135347
Greene131833
Lawrence131024
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127138
Amite126342
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108033
Tunica108027
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96629
Franklin85023
Quitman82216
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69532
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 548323

Reported Deaths: 11288
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson809531565
Mobile42066826
Madison35663525
Tuscaloosa26162458
Shelby25595254
Montgomery25081612
Baldwin21839313
Lee16265176
Calhoun14718325
Morgan14626285
Etowah14171363
Marshall12449230
Houston10764288
Elmore10295213
Limestone10182157
St. Clair10160251
Cullman9941201
Lauderdale9596249
DeKalb8967189
Talladega8458184
Walker7335280
Autauga7230113
Blount6944139
Jackson6922113
Colbert6414140
Coffee5627127
Dale4929114
Russell454941
Chilton4472116
Franklin431083
Covington4273122
Tallapoosa4136155
Escambia401780
Chambers3726124
Dallas3607156
Clarke352961
Marion3242106
Pike314078
Lawrence3129100
Winston283572
Bibb268464
Geneva257581
Marengo250665
Pickens236862
Barbour234659
Hale226878
Butler224071
Fayette218162
Henry193843
Cherokee187245
Randolph187044
Monroe179341
Washington170439
Macon162951
Clay160159
Crenshaw155657
Cleburne153244
Lamar146537
Lowndes142054
Wilcox127030
Bullock124242
Conecuh113430
Coosa111429
Perry108626
Sumter105732
Greene93534
Choctaw62025
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