Eric Engman/Getty Images
Sarah Palin, seen in July delivering her farewell speech as Alaska's governor, will appear on Oprah Winfrey's talk show Monday, a day before the official release of her memoir.
Sarah Palin, seen in July delivering her farewell speech as Alaska's governor, will appear on Oprah Winfrey's talk show Monday, a day before the official release of her memoir. Eric Engman/Getty Images
Sarah Palin's first interview about her book Going Rogue: An American Life is on Oprah Winfrey's talk show Monday afternoon, and the show has been seeding the Internet with tantalizing snippets.
Winfrey: "Let's talk about the interview with [CBS News anchor] Katie Couric."
Palin: "Ha, ha, must we? Ha, ha. OK."
Although Winfrey supported Barack Obama in last year's presidential election, publicity trumps politics when it comes to selling books.
Jim Milliot, a senior editor at Publishers Weekly, said it's good marketing to launch this memoir with an interview with Winfrey, who also sponsors a popular book club.
"Appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show always result in some sort of spike," said Milliot, adding that any publicity will help.
Advance sales made Going Rogue a best-seller weeks before Tuesday's official release date. Milliot estimated that the book will earn Palin at least $5 million — based on the $1.25 million advance she got earlier this year before she abruptly resigned her post as Alaska's governor.
Former Alaska state Sen. Lyda Green, a Republican, said Palin probably had to quit her job early, given the scale of the book tour.
"I think it would have been a problem to have been on the kind of schedule she's on now and been serving," Green said.
Green, who is from Palin's hometown of Wasilla, is also one of Palin's most vocal critics. She said Palin is giving up her political career in order to cash in.
"Timing is everything, and I think they got this book out very, very, very early before the star begins to fade," Green said.
But conservative opinion writer Matthew Continetti said he believes Palin and many Republicans think the book represents a fresh start. Continetti interviewed the former Republican vice presidential candidate for his book, The Persecution of Sarah Palin.
Some observers said the publicity tour has the characteristics of a political campaign. Palin plans to travel by bus part of the time, stopping in medium-sized cities in the Midwest and South. She's avoiding cities that are heavily Democratic, including San Francisco and Seattle.
Others doubt that the book has anything to do with the 2012 presidential campaign.
David Gergen, a professor of public service at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government, said Palin likely has goals that have nothing to do with politics.
"I think this has more the sense of a campaign that's creating a large national personality who's also going to make a large amount of money," Gergen said.
He thinks Palin is likely to stay involved with politics — just last month she backed a conservative candidate in a congressional race in upstate New York. But he said she undermined her own chances as a candidate when she decided to quit the governor's office early.
Continetti said Alaska's most prominent resident probably doesn't know yet what the future holds.
"She's an impulsive politician," he said. "She reaches decisions very quickly, very suddenly. I think when the time comes, when she's faced with a choice, that's when she'll decide."
Right now, Palin is selling books. Politics may actually become an afterthought — especially with interviewers asking questions on other topics, including Levi Johnston, her grandson's father, who recently did a photo shoot for Playgirl magazine.