Right-wing authors struggling to ink book deals—like Missouri senator Josh Hawley, whose deal with Simon & Schuster was nixed after he seemingly cheered on the January Capitol riot—can take heart: A pair of conservative publishing executives have united to bring them hope. Louise Burke, a former top publisher at Simon & Schuster, and Kate Hartson, the former editorial director at Hachette Book Group’s Center Street imprint, are launching All Seasons Press, a company that, by its own definition, is “open to welcoming those authors who are being attacked, bullied, banned from social media, and, in some cases, outright rejected by politically correct publishers.”
Uproar over right-wing figures’ publishing deals has come to a head of late. In April, about 14% of Simon & Schuster employees signed a petition calling for Mike Pence’s book deal to be dropped, saying that publishing the former vice president amounted to “legitimizing bigotry.” (Simon & Schuster CEO Jonathan Karp ultimately ignored the petition request, writing in a letter to staff: “We come to work each day to publish, not cancel, which is the most extreme decision a publisher can make.”) Burke told the Wall Street Journal that she is “increasingly concerned and somewhat outraged about what’s going on in terms of free speech and free press” and fears the “canceling of voices that…are meeting resistance from mainstream publishers, particularly former [Donald] Trump administration members.”
While Burke noted that there is already “competition” in the conservative publishing industry, which includes Regnery and Random House’s Crown Forum imprint, she still believes there’s “room for another publisher, especially one that will be as independent as we are.”
Already, All Seasons Press has illuminated an interesting dividing line in terms of the Trumpers it plans to publish. There are those like former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, former White House adviser Peter Navarro, and ex-Rush Limbaugh producer James Golden who have migrated to the publisher, according to the Journal. (Hawley, for his part, found an alternative publisher in Regnery.) In an email to the outlet, Navarro claimed the publishing world has “devolved into a Cancel Culture, Virtue Signaling cesspool,” adding, “it is refreshing to see a new publishing house emerge willing to print books such as my forthcoming volume in the Fall that will speak truth to power.” Then there are those like Pence and Jared Kushner, whose deal with Broadside Books, an imprint of HarperCollins, was announced this week—the names so recognizable that publishers have seemingly calculated that the headache of printing their work is, financially speaking, worth the hassle of potential blowback.
Still up in the air is Donald Trump himself. The former president claims he is “writing like crazy,” working on a memoir of his time in office. He also claims he’s rejected offers from two unnamed major publishing houses. But sources at Penguin Random House, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Macmillan Publishers, and Simon & Schuster—the Big Five publishers—recently told Politico they were unaware of any such offers. The outlet also reported that publishing executives are concerned that signing a deal with Trump could result in a staff uprising and other signed authors walking out in protest.
Books about Trump and his presidency, however, are still in demand. Michael Wolff’s Landslide: The Final Days of the Trump Presidency will be released on July 27, and Wolff said on Twitter that an excerpt of the book will appear in a New York magazine cover story on July 5. The book’s publisher, Henry Holt and Company, described it thusly: “In Landslide, Wolff closes the story of Trump’s four years in office and his tumultuous last months at the helm of the country, based on Wolff’s extraordinary access to White House aides and to the former president himself.”
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