OJ's getting published after all. Ugh.
Although, it seems like we might be able to put published in quotes. Like this: "published."
When Sharlene Martin, the agent, announced that a New York publisher was interested and a deal had been reached, I wondered who on earth would pick it up, after all the hell that was raised when Harper tried putting it out late last year. I couldn't imagine, even in these days where any sensational news story seems to lead to a book being crashed into the list, that any of the big five would go anywhere near it.
Turns out none of them did. The book is being published by Beaufort Books, a small press who, up until this book at least, splits the cost of publishing with the authors.
Splitting the cost is a pretty way of saying the authors pay to be published. Yog's Law: Money flows toward the writer. (Yog is author James D. MacDonald, who is always watching out for new writers in danger of being scammed over on the Absolute Write forums.)
It seems pretty shady - they took the splitting-the-cost blurb off of their website. The publisher, Eric Kampmann, won't even throw out a ballpark number for the announced first printing when asked in an interview with Publishers Weekly. Something like this, I'd expect at least 100,000. I don't know how many Harper pulped, but it was at least that.
I have immense respect for Denise Brown. How Kampmann could sit beside her on The Today Show and not be horribly ashamed, I can't even begin to fathom.
The next question is, what are booksellers going to do with it? It's a tough question for all of them - whether or not to carry it, and if they do, how many copies? Should it stay behind the counter or be put on display? If they choose not to bring it into the store initially, will they be willing to special order it for customers?
There is absolutely a morbid curiosity factor to the whole thing. I'd imagine there would be a good chunk of customers who would come into the store, flip through to the chapter where he describes the murder, and put it back on the shelf without buying it. I also wonder how many people who would normally buy books from their local indie would instead order it through Amazon or B&N rather than be seen purchasing it.
This book was a bad idea. It's still a bad idea, no matter how much they're trying to spin it as benefitting charities and becoming the Goldmans' book. Personally, I wouldn't bring it into my store, if I had one. I think I would special order it for interested customers, simply because I hate the idea of telling people what they can and can't read, but I'd be uncomfortable doing it.