The O.J. Simpson book that proved too hot for tabloid titan Rupert Murdoch has been picked up by New York-based Beaufort, a publisher that’s served as a vanity press in the past. As Publishers Lunch reports today:
“…as of recently Beaufort described themselves this way: ‘Beaufort offers an intriguing alternative to the traditional publishing model. We guide the publishing process, share in the risk, and offer the expertise and experience that are necessary to make any book a success.'”
But a Bloomberg story indicates Beaufort stepped up to offer a traditional publishing deal for If I Did It:
“Beaufort spokesman Michael Wright said the company had reached a traditional publishing agreement and costs would not be shared. He wouldn’t disclose whether or how much money was paid to the Goldmans for the rights. …
“Denise Brown, Nicole Brown’s sister, issued a statement yesterday that derided the book as a step-by-step manual on how Nicole and her friend Ron were murdered, and she called for a boycott. Denise Brown is scheduled to debate Beaufort President Eric Kampmann today on NBC’s ‘Today’ show.
“For his part, Kampmann said in a statement that the company ‘will be working diligently to not only publish this book well, but to honor the memory of the victims of this terrible crime: Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson.’
“The statement said Beaufort, the Goldmans and Martin will contribute an unspecified portion of the proceeds to the Ron Goldman Foundation for Justice.”
Now this is just a guess, but it seems likely that this deal includes a small advance, which means the sellers are counting on royalties for their payday. I certainly don’t begrudge the Goldman family a shot at making O.J.’s life miserable, but at the same time they’re also causing pain to the Brown family by publishing what sounds like a repellent memoir of murder. In other words, there’s got to be a better way for the Goldmans to honor Ron’s memory. And anyone thinking of purchasing this book can’t say, “Well, they already got a big advance so I’m not really participating in the process.” The only way this gruesome gambit pays off is if people pony up. It’s worth thinking about.
On a happier note, it’s nice to see Bloomberg running fiction reviews. I was pleased to stumble across this review of the Aurelio Zen mystery End Games while researching this item.
Here’s more on the Simpson deal from PW Daily.