Sarah Palin memoir tops US book sales

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Republican former governor Sarah Palin's memoir "Going Rogue" shot to the top of the US bestseller list in its first week after publication, industry figures showed Wednesday.

With almost half a million copies sold, "Going Rogue: An American Life" beat new blockbusters by James Patterson and Stephen King to become the highest-selling book in the country, according to Nielsen BookScan.

Palin ran for vice president last year on John McCain's losing ticket and is seen as a potential Republican presidential contender.

She launched the memoir, published November 16 by HarperCollins, with a blitz of media appearances and a political campaign-style book tour.

Her appearance on the Oprah Winfrey Show received huge attention, both contributing to publicity for the book and also boosting Oprah's own ratings - in some markets doubling viewership, Nielsen said.

Palin's electability remains in dispute, but in the book race she does well against other Washington heavyweights.

First week sale statistics show "Going Rogue" selling 469,000 copies, less than former president Bill Clinton's 2004 memoir, "My Life" at the same period of sales, but just ahead of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's 2003 "Living History."

"Going Rogue" trounces the performance of President Barack Obama's 2007 "Audacity of Hope" which had sold 67,000 copies a week after publication, Nielsen figures show.

Four books by McCain in the last five years and one by former president George W. Bush sold only in the low thousands in their first week after publication.

Other bestsellers published this month within a week of Palin's memoir include "I, Alex Cross" by Patterson and King's "Under the Dome."

HarperCollins announced an initial print run of 1.5 million copies for "Going Rogue," which comes as Palin flirts with the idea of running for the White House in 2012 as champion of the Republican right.

"That certainly isn't on my radar screen right now, but when you consider some of the ordinary-turning-into-extraordinary events that have happened in my life, I am not one to predict what will happen in a few years," she said last week.

She added that she was ready to assume a major role "if the people will have me."

The data collected by Nielsen does not include sales at warehouse stores and retail giants Wal-Mart, Sam's and BJ's, or at libraries.