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OJ Book Deal Met With Resounding Meh

Looks like that extra day of “planning” that the Goldmans and Beaufort Books needed to prepare for their announcement about the book formerly known as If I Did It can be chalked up to a search for a morning news show with an appropriately-sized hole in its schedule, as Beaufort prez Eric Kampmann squared off with Denise Brown on Wednesday morning’s Today Show over the suitability of publishing OJ Simpson‘s ghostwriter’s detailed description of the two brutal murders Simpson is widely believed to have committed. Now one of the biggest hurdles Kampmann and Beaufort will need to overcome, according to PW, is the near-total lack of enthusiasm from booksellers. Apparently nobody wants to go on record as saying that they’re looking forward to making money by satiating the public’s baser instincts.

The other big problem is that, until this deal came through, hardly anybody had ever heard of Beaufort. So what do we know about the company and its boss? Well, Google tells us Kampmann, who also runs the Midpoint Trade distribution company, likes backpacking, which was a comfort and inspiration to him after his first book distribution company, Kampmann & Co., went bankrupt. About which…while Sharlene Martin, who brokered the deal with Beaufort for the Goldmans, cited Kampmann’s “stellar reputation” as a prime factor in how the deal went down, Wendy Lestina is much less enthusiastic. She blames Kampmann for leaving “hundreds and hundreds” of small publishers, including herself (she was the first publisher for the SAT study guide Up Your Score), in the lurch back then, and she doubts anybody will see any dividends from this deal, either. “The Goldmans… sold their souls for a handful of beans,” she sniffs.

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