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.
Good point. We say women who actually read books think she’s a dink.
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.
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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.
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If Barack Obama is reading this book, then there is cause for hope.