RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

Brace yourselves for Palin-mania. This is the week the former Republican vice-presidential candidate launches a media blitz to promote her new memoir �Going Rogue.� NPR's Martin Kaste looks at what this book and the book tour might mean for Palin's political future.

MARTIN KASTE: Sarah Palin's first book interview is on Oprah this afternoon and the show has been seeding the internet with tantalizing snippets.

Ms. OPRAH WINFREY (Talk Show Host): Let's talk about the interview with Katie Couric.

Ms. SARAH PALIN (Republican Politician): Must we?

Ms. WINFREY: Yeah.

Ms. PALIN: Okay, okay.

KASTE: Sure, Oprah was on Barack Obama's side last year, but publicity trumps politics when it comes to selling books. Jim Milliot, a senior editor at Publisher's Weekly, says it's just good marketing to launch this memoir on the home of the all-powerful book club.

Mr. JIM MILLIOT (Senior Editor, Publisher's Weekly): Appearances on Oprah always result in some sort of spike.

KASTE: And a three-minute story on MORNING EDITION, does that help?

Mr. MILLIOT: It helps, absolutely helps. It's almost hard to think of some sort of publicity that could hurt this book.

KASTE: Advance sales made �Going Rogue� a best-seller, weeks before tomorrow's official publication date. Milliot estimates that the book will earn Palin at least $5 million. That's based on the $1.25 million advance that she got earlier this year, right before she abruptly resigned as governor.

Alaska Republican Lyda Green says given the scale of this book tour, Palin probably had to quit her job early.

Ms. LYDA GREEN (Former State Senator, Alaska): I think it would have been a problem to have been on the kind of schedule she's on now and been serving.

KASTE: Green was the state senator from Palin's hometown of Wasilla until last year. She's also known as one of Palin's most vocal critics. She thinks Palin is giving up her political career in order to cash in.

Ms. GREEN: Timing is everything and I think they got this book out very, very, very early before the star begins to fade.

Mr. MATTHEW CONTINETTI (Author): It's absurd to think that this book, which of course has commanded so much national attention, is somehow a close.

KASTE: Conservative opinion writer Matthew Continetti who talked to Palin for his new book, �The Persecution of Sarah Palin.�

Mr. CONTINETTI: I think she views it, and I think most Republicans view it, as a new beginning.

KASTE: The publicity tour certainly feels like a campaign. Palin will be on a bus for part of the time, stopping mainly in medium-sized cities in the Midwest and South and avoiding the big book markets in blue cities such as San Francisco and Seattle. But others doubt that this is all about 2012, people like David Gergen at Harvard's Kennedy School.

Professor DAVID GERGEN (John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University): I don't think this looks like a presidential campaign. It has the feel of it. I think this has more the sense of a campaign that is creating a large national personality who's also going to make a lot of money.

KASTE: Gergen says Palin is likely to stay involved politically. Just last month she backed a conservative candidate in a congressional race in upstate New York. But he says she undermined her own chances as a candidate when she decided to quit the governor's office early. And Palin booster Matthew Continetti says even she probably doesn't know yet what she'll do.

Mr. CONTINETTI: She's an impulsive politician. She reaches decisions very quickly, very suddenly. I think when the time comes, you know, if she's faced with a choice, that's when she'll decide.

KASTE: Right now, Palin is selling books, and politics may actually become an afterthought the next few weeks, especially if interviewers keep asking her for more dish on other topics, topics such as Levi Johnston, Palin's grandson's daddy, who just finished a photo shoot for Playgirl.

Ms. WINFREY: One final question about Levi: will he be invited to Thanksgiving dinner?

(Soundbite of laughter)

KASTE: Stay tuned. Martin Kaste, NPR News.

Copyright © 2009 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and Terms of Use. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.