NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump released his latest book Tuesday, a 193-page campaign manifesto titled "Crippled America" that outlines his philosophy but offers few new details on how the Republican presidential contender would implement his policy goals in the White House.
While most of the presidential candidates have already come out with books as precursors or companions to their campaigns, Trump celebrated his latest with Trump-sized pageantry, hosting a press conference and book signing in the atrium of Trump Tower, where he lives, operates his business and runs his campaign.
Hundreds began lining up outside the building before dawn to buy copies of the book and have it signed by the billionaire businessman and former reality TV star. By midday, a line snaked around a Midtown Manhattan city block.
"My book is very hard-hitting, it says it like it is," Trump said. He boasted that he'd already been informed by his publisher that the book was selling like "hotcakes."
The book, which reads like an exhaustive version of the stump speech Trump has been delivering at rallies across the country, makes the case that he has the experience and business savvy to accomplish things that traditional politicians can't. It comes as Trump adjusts to a new phase of the campaign in which the once undisputed front-runner faces heightened competition from a number of his GOP rivals.
While Trump largely avoids criticizing his competition by name in the book, he said Tuesday he thinks it's time for many to drop out.
"There are too many people!" he said. "Look, if a person's been campaigning for four or five months and they're at zero or 1 or 2 percent, they should get out."
Almost all political books feature cover photos of the candidates looking friendly, poised, competent and, well, presidential. Trump's cover shows him with furrowed brows and a deep scowl, in keeping with his often irascible demeanor.
"It's a terrible, horrible nasty picture," Trump said. "But when you're talking about crippled America and you're talking about all of the problems we have, I can't have a big smiley face out there."
Unlike most of his competitors, Trump has largely avoided the kind of small-scale interactions with potential voters in diners and coffee shops that are the bread-and-butter of most campaigns. But Trump, seated in a plush leather chair behind a wooden desk set up on a red carpet, appeared comfortable at the signing. He offered strong handshakes, quizzed people on how long they'd been waiting and scrawled his violent, illegible signature again and again in thick black marker.
Among those who were first in line was stand-up comedian Jason Scoop, who showed off a "Trump 2016" tattoo he said he'd gotten right after Trump jumped in the race.
Nearly as excited was 11-year-old Joe Martin from Hackettstown, New Jersey, who arrived with his dad, another Trump fan, at 6 a.m., decked out in Trump gear.
"He's very kind and he's going to know how to run this country," the grade schooler said. "He's a businessman, and basically he owns a lot of stuff and he knows what he's doing with money. "
When it came time for the signing, Joe could barely contain his excitement.
"He's so cool looking!" he exclaimed as Trump took his seat.
Follow Jill Colvin on Twitter at https://twitter.com/colvinj.