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Beschloss’s New Book Deal? That’s Old News!

Remember how I told you a couple weeks ago to keep your eye on Leon Neyfakh, the New York Observer‘s publishing industry correspondent? Here’s a perfect example of why: Yesterday, Publisher’s Weekly made a hullaballoo out of Crown winning an auction over Michael Beschloss, for “a major history of wartime U. S. presidential leadership through two centuries.”

Neyfakh had that story on November 8. Well, okay, he didn’t discuss the subject matter of the book, but he had something arguably even better: a quote from Simon & Schuster spokesman Adam Rothberg pooh-poohing the suggestion that Beschloss’s departure should be construed as part of a trend of the house losing big authors: “We make bestselling authors here. Success attracts attention. There’s a whole marketplace of publishers out there who notice the success. They want bestselling authors on their list, and frequently they’re willing to pay a ‘free agent premium’ to attract those authors.”

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