Clinton’s Folly:

October 2001
by A Lost Opportunity in Publishing

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Dear Ex-President Clinton,

Congratulations on the recent record-setting, big-bucks advance for your upcoming memoirs. $10 million, huh? Bet that’ll put a few legal bills and hefty Westchester County mortgages behind you. Good for you! Still I must confess that as I read that you’d given Knopf the nod to publish your recollections, I couldn’t help but ponder a lost opportunity.

I’m talking about the opportunity to make three or four times the money off your “sure-thing” title. And it comes down to one hyphenated word: self-publishing. Now, before you laugh and say, “My pride and joy needs to be lovingly administered to by professionals every inch of the way,” hear me out.

Sure you deserve the royal treatment and all that, but which would you rather have? One big-name publishing company sucking up to you and paying you $10 million? Or the entire wholesaling and retailing segments of the industry sucking up to you and eventually paying you many times that?

I mean, let’s get real. You think that you need a big-name publisher to sell your book? You gotta be kidding. You are a publisher’s and bookseller’s dream. Fascinating people sell books. And regardless of what people think of you, you’re the “Ultimate Fascinating Person.” Short of not writing the thing, there’s no way you could fail to sell millions of copies. I never buy celebrity books. I didn’t vote for you e…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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