June 15, 2021

This Politico story is fascinating. A post-presidential Trump book would no doubt be a best-seller, but publishers are reluctant to make him an offer because of all the other problems it would create.

Their reluctance is driven by several factors, though the underlying fear is that whatever Trump would write wouldn’t be truthful.

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

It’s unheard of for a former U.S. president to struggle to score a major book deal after leaving office. And the absence of Trump’s own words from the literary world is made even more pronounced by the fact that several of his top aides and former Cabinet officials are writing books of their own. Former Vice President Mike Pence scored a seven-figure deal for two books with Simon & Schuster — a decision that sparked some employees of the company, well-known Simon & Schuster authors, and others to circulate a petition accusing the storied book house of promoting bigotry.

There have been rumors and a report that Trump is privately angry over Pence’s book deal. But his spokesperson Jason Miller insisted that he was “fine with it” and had “no issues.”

Trump has insisted that he has suitors for a book too. In a statement last Friday, he said he had received two offers “from the most unlikely of publishers” but turned them down because he did “not want to do such a deal right now.”

He's quoted as saying, “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. No morals, no nothing, just the bottom line. And they sure wouldn’t admit it before the fact. But after the fact, they will stand by and say, ‘Let’s go.’”

One literary agency head told Politico that the problems would outweigh the payoff.

“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 said.

It's more likely he would only be published by specialty conservative imprints, like Regnery. But honestly, I think he'll go for self-publishing, as his son Don Jr. did. That way, he gets to keep most of the money.

We know it's unlikely he'd be the subject of a bidding war by reputable publishers, like the one that saw Barack and Michelle Obama’s post-White House memoirs go for a reputed $65 million.

A president who can't get a prestigious book deal? Sad!

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