‘He’s screwed over so many publishers’: Trump confronts a skeptical book industry

It’s unusual for a former US president to struggle to land a major book deal after leaving office. And the lack of Trump’s own words from the literary world is compounded by the fact that several of his top aides and former cabinet officials write their own books. Former Vice President Mike Pence has a seven figure deal for two books with Simon & Schuster – a decision that delighted some of the company’s employees, well-known Simon & Schuster authors and others distribute a petition accuses the famous bookstore of promoting bigotry.

There were rumors and a report that Trump is privately angry about Pence’s book deal. But his spokesman Jason Miller insisted he was “fine” and “having no problems.”

Trump insisted that he also have admirers for a book. In a statement last Friday he said he had received two offers “from one of the most unlikely publishers” but turned them down because he “did not want to make such a deal now.”

Trump did not reveal who the two publishers were. But in a statement to POLITICO on Monday afternoon, he insisted that “two of the largest and most renowned publishers have made very extensive offers that I have declined”.

“That doesn’t mean that at some point in the future I won’t accept them since I started writing the book,” the statement said. “If my book is going to be the greatest of them all, and with 39 books written or written about me, does anyone really believe they are above making money? Some of the greatest sleezebags [sic] run these companies on earth. “

“No morals, nothing, just the bottom line,” he added. “And they certainly wouldn’t admit it in front of the fact. But then they will stand by and say: ‘Let’s go.’ “

POLITICO reached out to top publishers and editors from the Big Five publishers – Penguin Random House, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Macmillan Publishers, and Simon & Schuster – to see if they had heard of any deals offered to Trump was. None of the sources said they had heard of such potential book deals, and most said they would not touch a Trump project if he started buying a book.

“Whatever the benefits of a Trump book business, the headaches the project would bring would far outweigh the potential in the eyes of a major publisher,” said Keith Urbahn, president and founding partner of Javelin, a literary firm and creative agency. “Any editor brave enough to take on the Trump memoir is facing a fact-checking nightmare, an exodus of other writers, and a staff uprising in the unlikely event they hit a deal with the former president.”

Aside from the factual problems of publishing a book, Trump’s role in instigating the January 6 riot and peddling election fraud since last November have made him radioactive in the Manhattan publishing world. Simon & Schuster dropped a book by Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), Who objected to the election results on Jan. 6, although his book was picked up by conservative imprint Regnery.

A Regnery spokeswoman, Lauren McCue, declined to comment when asked if the masthead was interested in Trump’s later book.

Trump could possibly work with one of the major publishers with imprints who have worked with Trumpworld characters, such as Center Street at Hatchette, Threshold at Simon & Schuster, or Broadside Books at HarperCollins. The speakers of these imprints have not returned a request for comment on the recordings.

“Probably some unlikely people approached him!” an industry source said in a text message before adding a joke. “But that could be a publisher in Zimbabwe,” they wrote with a laughing / crying emoji. Two people at the publisher said that such an offer would likely include profit sharing.

Another said they were confident that some people wrote to Trump after he left the White House to offer him a book deal that would immediately put any conservative impression on the map.

“Someone could have offered him $ 100,” said the person. “It doesn’t mean anything.”

“I’m skeptical,” added another publishing insider when asked if they would believe Trump’s statement that he had received two offers. “He screwed so many publishers that none of the Big 5 would work together before his candidacy [him] no more.”

Trump wrote over a dozen books for more than nine different publishers before he was elected president. And they have often sold well. His best-known book, “The Art of the Deal,” published by Random House, was on the New York Times bestseller list for 13 weeks in 1987 and cemented his reputation as an unscrupulously successful businessman, only for the book’s ghost author, Tony Schwartz, to call it a fictional representation later. Ahead of his 2016 presidential candidacy, Trump wrote Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again, a book that served as the basis for his campaign.

However, the presidency has made Trump both more famous and more toxic. In contrast, the memoirs of former Presidents Barack Obama and Michelle Obama were the subject of post-White House just over a month after leaving a bidding war with at least four publishers, with the successful deal reportedly being worth more than $ 65 million. Penguin Random House won the auction.

Other high-profile members of the Trump administration have signed book deals with major publishers, including advisor Kellyanne Conway, former press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, former Attorney General William Barr and Pence.

Since leaving office, Trump has conducted at least a dozen interviews with journalists who write about his time at the White House. Even if he has actually turned down two book offers from publishers, he always has the opportunity to publish it himself. Former President’s son Donald Trump Jr. declined to work with conservative Center Street publisher on his second book. Instead, he published “Liberal Privilege: Joe Biden and the Democrats’ Defense of the Indefensible “alone.

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