Who is not writing a book these days? It seems like every flash-in-the-pan or D-list celebrity is composing an uninteresting autobiography or a 500-page dissertation on a subject that has been beaten to death. You can bet that the latest verbum scriptum to emerge from the D.C. sewers is nothing more than a gossip column that would fit better the pages of Weekly World News, next to breaking stories on the mysterious disappearance of Bat Boy. Hey, if you are getting seven or eight figures, then it’s nice work if you can get it.
Pen Is Mightier Than the Sword
The Associated Press reports that former National Security Advisor John Bolton has inked a new book deal, just two months after departing the White House over foreign policy differences with President Donald Trump. The agreement is worth about $2 million, according to publishing officials familiar with the proceedings.
Bolton, 70, is being represented by Javelin literary agency, which also represents former FBI Director James Comey. The former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations had been negotiating with Simon & Schuster for the last few weeks, suggesting that the publisher had immediately reached out to Bolton once he exited the administration.
AP’s sources do not know the title or possible release date. Both Simon & Schuster and Javelin have not issued public statements on the reports.
Bolton has been in the news recently over his possible knowledge of the saga involving Trump and Ukraine. Bolton has said he is willing to testify during the House impeachment inquiry but only with a subpoena. A recent transcript of a closed-door interview and a letter from his attorney to the top lawyer for the House show that the long-time Washington insider was “part of many relevant meetings and conversations.” Fiona Hill, a national security official, alleged that Bolton told her that “I am not part of whatever drug deal [Gordon] Sondland and [Mick] Mulvaney are cooking up.”
Bolton has published two other books: Surrender Is Not an Option: Defending America at the United Nations and How Barack Obama Is Endangering Our National Sovereignty.
Trump-Bashing Yields Payday
People who leave 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, either on their own accord or because of pink slips, are all but guaranteed to receive a lucrative book deal, especially if they bash the president. For nearly three years, a cavalcade of former administration officials has published supposed tell-all books that shed a negative light on President Trump and his family.
Cliff Sims, the conservative Alabama blogger-turned-White House aide, was given a $1 million advance for his account “as a confidante, an errand boy, an advisor, a punching bag, and a friend. Sometimes all in the same conversation.” The book includes hundreds of pages of notes that describe first-hand infighting and leaking and the creation process of an “enemies list.”
Omarosa Manigault, the ex-communications director for the White House’s Office of Public Liaison, signed a seven-figure book deal. Unhinged was meant to be “an insider’s account of the Trump White House,” but the reading public’s lack of interest suggested that it was a book riddled with sour grapes.
An anonymous Trump administration official who penned an essay about a resistance within the White House has a new book, titled A Warning. According to The Hachette Book Group imprint Twelve, the book is “an unprecedented behind-the-scenes portrait” that “offers a shocking, first-hand account of President Trump and his record.” In other words, several hundred pages of Trump-bashing.
Anthony Scaramucci, the White House communications director who served just six days, also wrote a book, titled The Blue Collar President: How Trump Is Reinventing the Aspirational Working Class. It was meant to be an objective book about “an entrepreneur writing about an entrepreneur who has now ascended into the presidency,” observing “Trump as a strategist, as a communicator and why he probably doesn’t need a chief of staff but could rely on a core group of lieutenants like he did at the Trump Organization.” The financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed, but it may not have been too much since his book was rejected 39 times by publishers until Center Street struck a deal.
There have been a couple of positive or neutral books about President Trump from his inner circle, including Sean Spicer’s The Briefing. Also, Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ upcoming memoir about her time as press secretary will likely put a positive spin on the Trump White House.
For the most part, however, if you wish to earn a handsome payday, then be sure to write the most insulting and juicy portrayal of the president and his administration – damn the truth!
The Demand for Gossip
Is there still a demand for these types of books? Suffice it to say, if you have read one anti-Trump amphigory, then you have read them all.
A lot of the anti-Trump materials on the market today are filled with falsehoods, inaccuracies, misrepresentations, and embellishments. Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury is a perfect example of a book that generated tremendous buzz but failed to deliver the goods – mainly the facts. As a result, such reads hurt the integrity and credibility of future insider accounts and journalistic narratives that may or may not be true. In the end, many consumers roll their eyes at oft-described bombshells that are the beginning of the end for the president.
Indeed, there will always be a demand for juicy gossip from some of the Trump Derangement Syndrome old maids. Why do you think the National Enquirer still exists? It does not mean they are honest.
Read more from Andrew Moran.