What Romney has done in some cases is to sell bulk copies of his book No Apology, The Case For American Greatness, to some non-public institutions with a promise of a speaking engagement thrown in as a bonus. Romney did not do this with Public institutions, just private.
Romney's book sales padding, if you want to call it that, was greeted in the publishing world with shrugs and yawns and is a common practice. These bulk sales are not counted when determining the best seller list as noted with an asterisk on the New York Times list. An according to the LA Times, UNLIKE Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin used her PACS money to purchase bulk amounts of her own book to the tune of $63,000. I wonder if her donors had this expenditure in mind when they donated? I just had to get that in.
Lets take a look at the math involved for private, non-public institutes that participated in this. I will use a fictional organization for the example:
The Bosman Institute (non-public) buys $50,000 worth of books. We sell 60% of them. Romney comes to the institute and gives a talk. NET COST of Romney's talk is 40% of the $50,000 or $20,000 and we still have books left to try and recoup some of that $20,000.
Lets compare that now to the price that other political celebrities get for a talk:
From Politico: (except in Huckabee's case)
Politico also notes that Romney doesn't charge Public Institutions for speaking engagements. We all know. that's not the case with at least one other 2012 hopeful, that I won't mention by name.
The bottom line is, Romney still doesn't charge for speeches and by this bulk book buying deal, he gives private organizations the opportunity to recoup some of the cost of getting him to speak there.
In my opinion, those private institutions that were involved in this book sales deal, made out pretty well when you consider what the other political celebrities charge. What a deal!