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Rare Palin book suddenly a hot item, so paperback version is due shortly

A short book about Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin — a testimonial, more than a biography — has become a hot item days since she was picked as the Republican vice-presidential running mate for Sen. John McCain.

Only 7,000 copies of the book, "Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned Alaska's Political Establishment Upside Down," were printed this spring. This morning, Amazon.com says it will take three to six weeks to get a copy at $11.97. Used copies were available though, for prices ranging from $35 to $142.

The publisher is rushing out a paperback edition in the next few days to capitalize on the governor's new-found fame.

But I've got one of the first editions, borrowed from my sister.

Our brother, Steve, is a forest ranger who's been stationed in Alaska over the years and still pays close attention to Alaska affairs. He admired the feisty hockey-mom who was unexpectedly elected governor there two years ago. So he bought two copies of the book last summer and sent them to our two sisters, who are also hockey/soccer moms.


The book's a quick read (137 pages) and 32 of those are color photos from the family scrapbook. The author, Kaylene Johnson, is from Palin's hometown, tiny Wasilla, and writes with a peppy enthusiasm for the one-time Wasilla mayor-turned-governor-turned-VP candidate.

The most controversial photo in the book shows a college-age Sarah Palin wearing a T-shirt that reads: "I may be broke but I'm not flat busted."
The most controversial photo in the book shows a college-age Sarah Palin wearing a T-shirt that reads: "I may be broke but I'm not flat busted."

My brother said that there was some concern in Alaska about one of the photos in the book: Palin, in her college days, wearing a provocative T-shirt. Of course, I checked that out first. She's sitting on a dorm bed in a T-shirt that reads: "I may be broke but I'm not flat busted." She's holding out the shirt to emphasize the words, or something.

The book notes that she grew up in a hunting family and shot her first rabbit at age 10, near the family's back porch. She was an aggressive athlete and was disappointed that she didn't make the varsity basketball team as a junior. But she overcame that adversity to play varsity as a senior and made key free throws in the team's state championship victory.

It goes on in that vein.

Publishersmarketplace.com has this report on the logistics of the book's reprinting:

Palin Books? There's One
"Seattle's Epicenter Press has Kaylene Johnson's short book SARAH: How a Hockey Mom Turned Alaska's Political Establishment Upside Down, published in May, the only book so far about the Republican's new vice presidential running mate. The publisher told a WSJ blog on Friday "they anticipate ramping up production with Ingram Book Co. for 'tens of thousands' more copies.'" Prior to the vice presidential announcement, the book was not being carried by Amazon or BN.com, though that changed quickly.

"Press publisher and co-owner Kent Sturgis told the Seattle Times they had about 3,000 copies on hand when the news broke on Friday. "We were producing copies of this paperback about 14 hours after the announcement, and they'll all be shipped on Tuesday" after printing a trade paperback via Lighining Source. They've had orders for about 40,000 copies".

And an AP report in the Las Vegas Sun also talked about the book.

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