Weekend Bookchat

November 22, 2008

You know those stories about Sarah Palin getting ready to close a $7 million book deal? You might want to take them with a couple of wheelbarrows full of salt, according to Fishbowl LA:

Uhm, her appeal is not to the ‘female reading public’ – it’s to the male ‘I dig chicks that are hot and don’t make me feel like a dumb ass’ loving segment of the population.

Our sister blog GalleyCat’s Ron Hogan says,”Notice that this source said “huge appeal to a segment,” not “appeal to a huge segment.”

Good point. We say women who actually read books think she’s a dink.

Speaking of which, we have two copies of Dan Quayle‘s book “Worth Fighting For” on our desk. One for us. One for a gift. We got it in the one dollar bin…and he actually won an election.

Litblog GalleyCat follows up with some hard numbers:

There is, absolutely, a market for a Sarah Palin book, and somebody will pick up on that at some point—the only question is whether that publisher is really willing to spend $7 million on an author whose approval ratings got worse the more the public got to know her.

Nobody asked us, of course, but beyond the three obvious suspects in New York City—Sentinel, Crown Forum, and Threshold—we’d suspect that Palin’s best chance for a book deal might come from the Christian publishing market, which would no doubt welcome a memoir about how Palin’s faith and family led her to and guided her through her historic moment in the spotlight… but we can’t remember when any publisher there paid that much money for a single book.

Meanwhile, Erica Heller considers these stories of publishers panning for winger gold and draws some unflattering comparisons between the well-earned fame of her father Joseph Heller, who used literary talent and hard work to produce Catch-22, and the freak show version represented by Palin and Joe the Mumbler:

Today, of all the things I am most proud of about my father’s writing, it is his scathing indictment of the madness and stupidity of war, government and big business, all recounted in such passionate and pitiless detail, that still resonate resoundingly.

And now, onto that illustrious stage of authors, along with Kurt Vonnegut, James Jones and the rest of the best of the best, strut authoress and author, Palin and Mr. Plumber, with their books certain to be ghosted by some unsung schnooks, manuscripts that will be comprised mostly, I’m betting, of little more than bragging, lying and recycling some very stale air. For their efforts, they will be awarded gargantuan advances, piles of money that could feed several Third World nations for some time. Or OUR nation, since there are still so many hungry, weary, homeless and wanting. Not all of us are plucked from obscurity and wrapped in Valentino or held up as a poster-child for the working man. Some people have to actually work at it and at times, there is even talent, skill, and a magical, indefinable creative spark magnificently ignited in the process.

Madness and stupidity are, alas, not limited to the arena of war. The publishing world seems to also have stepped in it, as it does from time to time, and will now leave us its grimy footprints to follow, the real Bridge to Nowhere.

On the other hand, judging from the infamous video posted above, there could be a large market for a book of Sarah Palin’s Thanksgiving recipes.

* * * * *

Barton Gellman wraps up a weeklong discussion about his book Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency at TPM Cafe. James Bamford prepares to start a discussion of hisbook The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America at the Firedoglake Book Salon.

* * * * *

If Barack Obama is reading this book, then there is cause for hope.

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6 Responses to “Weekend Bookchat”

  1. CParis Says:

    “it’s to the male ‘I dig chicks that are hot and don’t make me feel like a dumb ass’ loving segment of the population.”

    I’m sure you see a marketing problem here – this segment doesn’t buy many books. Do they think the women in their lives (if they have any) are going to buy Palin’s blabography as a gift for them?

  2. livinginlalalaland Says:

    My First PICTURE BOOK
    Buy My Book-Suckers! …by Sarah Palin
    With six pages of pictures -One of her shooting wolves from a helicopter (bloody and gory just like her base likes it)-another with husband Toad at a secessionist meeting (that’s her winking) One page shows her sitting at her home- built by the same ppl who helped out Ted Stevens- Then a glossy page of her staring at herself in the mirror -Extra bonus -a center page pop up of the entire dysfunctional family.

    The last page has some priceless quotes from Palin…examples:
    1.”As for that VP talk all the time, I’ll tell you, I still can’t answer that question until somebody answers for me what is it exactly that the VP does every day?” –Sarah Palin

    2. .”I told the Congress, ‘Thanks, but no thanks,’ on that Bridge to Nowhere.” –Sarah Palin, who was for the Bridge to Nowhere before she was against it.

    3. “Pray for our military men and women who are striving to do what is right. Also, for this country, that our leaders, our national leaders, are sending soldiers out on a task that is from God. That’s what we have to make sure that we’re praying for, that there is a plan and that that plan is God’s plan.” –Sarah Palin, on the Iraq war

    4.”As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where– where do they go? It’s Alaska. It’s just right over the border.” –Sarah Palin,

    5.”We believe that the best of America is not all in Washington, D.C. … We believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard working very patriotic, um, very, um, pro-America areas of this great nation.” –Sarah Palin,

    6.”I’m the mayor, I can do whatever I want until the courts tell me I can’t.'” –Sarah Palin, as quoted by former City Council Member Nick Carney, after he raised objections about the $50,000 she spent renovating the mayor’s office without approval of the city council

    And much more……………

    Priceless………….
    So Stupid It Hurts.

  3. Molly, NYC Says:

    The decision to publish anything with Palin’s name on it may be influenced by the cost-to-return of hiring someone who can not only write it for her (as Palin herself is surely as fine as writer as she is a geographer), but to create an entire book’s content that both (a) Palin could plausibly pretend were her own thoughts; and (b)anyone would care to read.

  4. Batocchio Says:

    Angler‘s very good. I’ve written a few posts on it and Gellman’s earlier this work on Cheney. He really provides some fascinating details.

  5. rix Says:

    7 mil makes no sense. Palin’s story isn’t that interesting, & she can’t write what she really thinks about people who will still be important Repug insiders in 2012.

  6. Steven Hart Says:

    What Rix says reminds me of the book written by Cheney’s daughter. The editor who gave her the contract in the hopes of getting a revealing book ended up looking like a fool.


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