With the infamous 'Opal Mehta' book getting pulled by Crown, they had an enormous gap in their offerings, and thank God that someone eminently photogenic stepped up to fill the space.
Valerie Plame of outing fame has landed a very, very big deal with Crown Books, reportedly in the low seven figures. That's millions of dollars, for those of you who are math and/or financially challenged. And what might she have to say?
Do you honestly think Crown is caring right now? In the corporate boardroom, they're praying to the windfall gods that the CIA makes a bit of a to-do over the book's contents. Seeing as to how the CIA has to approve anything that former agents submit to publishers, the good folks at the big publishing house are very much in need of some pre-release publicity, and a ruckus over censorship or banning key passages would be a boon beyond measure.
And of course Ms. Plame is going to write the memoir herself - now, is that anything like Kaavya writing her own novel? (That was uncalled for, lad. Back off, now.)
Will she earn her big advance? Of course not. That's where the rest of Crown's stable comes into play. The authors who sell well, but who lack the cachet of a former CIA agent, are footing part of the bill. Christ Almighty, I'd take up a collection for the woman if Crown would publish my manuscript. That's just how the publishing world works - the big names get the big advance, they don't earn out, and the mid-list grunts pick up the slack. Did anyone ever say that life was fair, now?
Will I buy the book? Who's got that kind of money to waste on nonsense? I won't even bother reading it. There's too many good writers out there who need support, and the celebrities can make their own way. A woman making it in a man's world, yeah, yeah, yeah, heard it before. Valerie Plame's living in a posh house near Washington D.C. and my house is tumbling down around my ears. Ah, sure and my heart bleeds for you.