Biteback Publishing has ordered an intial print run of 35,000 copies of Lord Ashcroft and Isabel Oakeshott’s Call Me Dave.
A serialisation of the unauthorised biography of Prime Minister David Cameron began in the Daily Mail on Monday (21st September).
The first extract revealed that Cameron had taken part in an initiation ritual involving a dead pig’s head while at university, and was dubbed #piggate on social media.
Writing on the Conservative Home website, Iain Dale, m.d. of Biteback Publishing, said that he did not usually give details of print runs, “partly because it’s a mug’s game”.
“You never get it right, and you virtually always print too many or too few,” he wrote. “But in the case of Call Me Dave, I’m going to make an exception and give a big ‘f**k you’ gesture with my middle finger to all those who wittered on Twitter about it being in the remainder bins on Day One.
“Most political biographies do well if they sell 5,000 copies. Some – whisper it – don’t even make it into four figures. But I knew with a serialisation in the Mail that this book was destined to do somewhat better.”
Dale said the original intention was to print 6,000 copies of Call Me Dave, which he then doubled to 12,000 on the first day of the Daily Mail’s serialisation, as previously reported in The Bookseller.
“Over the week, the orders from bookshops and other outlets (including one major supermarket chain) have flooded in – and I mean, flooded – with the result that on Wednesday morning I counted up the pre-orders which totalled a massive 33,000,” he said.
“So I took a deep breath and told my colleagues to order an initial print run of 35,000. That’s three and a half times more than our previous biggest print run for a book. I don’t believe for a minute that all will be sold because all books are subjected to a rate of returns, but 10,000 of these are firm sale, so that’s not a bad start.”
Dale said Biteback’s biggest selling book to date has been Damian McBride’s Power Trip, on which the company did an initial print run of 5,000 copies but had to reprint on the day of publication. Power Trip has sold around 24,000 copies in hardback, paperback and e-book, said Dale.