“I went to press today,” Eric Kampmann reported during a Monday evening phone call, informing GalleyCat that he had prepared a 125,000-copy first printing of the Goldman-enhanced edition of If I Did It, the book which contains a scenario for the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman narrated in the voice of OJ Simpson. It’s a drop from the 400,000 copies ReganBooks had begun shipping before HarperCollins pulled the plug on the project last fall, but it’s still the largest project in Beaufort’s history. “Without Barnes & Noble, I have orders for 116,000 copies,” Kampmann added. “Apart from them, we’ve had enormous support from all our accounts, without exception, and I expect to be going back to print even before the first books ship.” He’s still aiming to ship finished books straight from the bindery on September 11, so that books might be available in stores when the Goldmans and Denise Brown square off on Oprah two days later.
While B&N held firm to its decision not to stock the book in its stores, If I Did It shot up to the #1 position on the company’s website Monday; by the end of the day, it was also in the Amazon.com top 50. Kampmann sees the pre-orders as a “protest vote” against B&N’s corporate decision. “Their own customers are telling them they’re interested in the book,” he explained. Naturally, he’s excited about that—and about the possibility that Beaufort Books really will be able to turn around a 100,000-plus first printing in little more than a month. (It’s not only Beaufort’s biggest book, but the biggest book he’s distributed through Midpoint Trade Books.) “I defy anybody to do what this ‘pathetic, no-name’ press has done,” he said, still smarting perhaps from the scornful reaction of PW and others when the book deal was first announced.