With the new edition of O.J. Simpson's "If I Did It" in the top 5 on Barnes & Noble.com., the superstore said Tuesday it has no plans "at this point" to stock copies of the book in stores, reiterating previous statements that there was insufficient customer interest.
"We have only had a handful of pre-orders in our stores," spokeswoman Mary Ellen Keating said Tuesday in a statement. "We are monitoring interest in the title, as we do with all recently published books. At this point, our decision remains."
Barnes & Noble, Inc. announced a week ago that it would only sell the book online or by special order, saying "Our buyers don't feel there will be enough of a demand to carry it in our stores." Interest in the book has since jumped, with "If I Did It" reaching No. 1 on Barnes & Noble.com early this week and ranking at No. 5 as of midday Tuesday.
At the same time Tuesday, "If I Did It" had reached No. 59 on Amazon.com.
Simpson's book, a ghostwritten, hypothetical account of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, was first scheduled for publication last November by ReganBooks. But "If I Did It" was dropped in response to near-universal disgust and only re-emerged after a federal bankruptcy judge awarded rights to the book to Goldman's family to help satisfy a $38 million wrongful death judgment against Simpson.
Beaufort Books, a small New York-based publisher, is reissuing "If I Did It" this fall, with Simpson's original manuscript intact and extensive commentary included. Beaufort owner and president Eric Kampmann said he suspects that the sales on Barnes & Noble.com were a "protest" against its refusal to stock the book.
A rival superstore chain, Borders Group, Inc., says it will carry the book, but not promote it.
Simpson has maintained his innocence in the 1994 killings in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles. The former actor and football great, who now lives near Miami, was acquitted of murder in 1995.