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Why Trump is having trouble landing a book deal

Posted by 
The Hill
The Hill
 2021-06-15
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  • Politico reports top publishers and editors at the five major publishing houses said they had not offered Trump a deal.
  • Most of the publishers told the outlet they would not be willing to work with Trump on his bid for a book.
  • Sources in the publishing industry cited the president’s perceived role in the January 6 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol, and the task of fact-checking Trump’s election falsehoods.

As former President Trump insists he’s been “writing like crazy” on what would become “the book of all books” a new report suggests he may struggle to find a publisher.

In a statement Friday, the former president said he “turned down two book deals, from the most unlikely of publishers,” which he did not name.

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“I do not want to do such a deal right now. I’m writing like crazy anyway, however, and when the time comes, you’ll see the book of all books. Actually, I’ve been working on a much more important project right now,” Trump said in a statement.

The comment from Trump followed a report from Maggie Haberman at The New York Times who said former Vice President Mike Pence’s seven-figure book deal with Simon & Schuster was “grating” on Trump. Trump’s spokesperson Jason Miller has denied that’s the case.

While it’s unusual for a former president to struggle to win a major book deal following their presidency, Politico reports top publishers and editors at the five major publishing houses said they had not offered Trump a deal, and most told the outlet they would not be willing to work with Trump on his bid for a book.

Sources in the publishing industry cited the president’s perceived role in the January 6 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol, and the task of fact-checking Trump’s election falsehoods, including his claim he won the 2020 presidential election, according to Politico.

“[I]t would be too hard to get a book that was factually accurate, actually,” a top figure in the publishing industry told Politico.

“If he can’t even admit that he lost the election, then how do you publish that,” the source said.

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“Any editor bold enough to acquire the Trump memoir is looking at a fact-checking nightmare, an exodus of other authors, and a staff uprising in the unlikely event they strike a deal with the former president,” Keith Urbahn, co-founder of literary agency Javelin, told Politico.

Trump told the outlet, however, that two of the “biggest and most prestigious publishing houses” offered him deals, which he said he rejected.

“That doesn’t mean I won’t accept them sometime in the future, as I have started writing the book,” he said in a statement to Politico.

“If my book will be the biggest of them all, and with 39 books written or being written about me, does anybody really believe that they are above making a lot of money? Some of the biggest sleezebags [sic] on earth run these companies,” he said.

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