Why is a Trump book hard to publish? He’s ‘impossible to fact check’ and top target for cancel culture: Experts
Although a book written by Trump would likely be an instant best-seller, publishers are apprehensive about signing a deal with him because of factors that could outweigh the financial considerations
Although a number of ex-Trump administration officials have signed expensive book deals to spill the beans on what was one of the most controversial four years in the history of the country, publishers say that a book coming straight from the horse's mouth might be difficult to publish as former President Donald Trump is the top target for cancel culture.
The latest member of the former administration to sign a multimillion-dollar book deal is ex-Vice President Mike Pence. Pence has struck a two-book deal with publisher Simon & Schuster, making him one of the first alums of Trump's inner circle to score such an expensive contract. The deal in question is worth seven figures, somewhere in the range of $3 million to $4 million, according to CNN sources. Kellyanne Conway, the former counselor to Trump who left the White House last August, is also reportedly writing a book for a major publishing house.
Trump 'impossible to fact check'
Although a book written by Trump would likely be an instant best-seller, publishers are apprehensive about signing a deal with the former president because apart from the fact that he might expect an exorbitant advance, the process of putting it together could be too difficult to make it worth the effort and money. Major publishing executives said that Trump would likely have to self-publish, as smaller independent houses are unlikely to pay a large advance. "It's not that the book wouldn't sell, it's that he is impossible to fact check or do business with," said one person at a major publishing house.
However, a second person at a major publishing house said that they would be willing to at least talk to Trump about a possible book deal. "It's the right thing to do. You're a professional. You hear what someone has to say, that doesn't mean you make a bid. But there is a lot of money to be made, and that is an aphrodisiac," the person said. "He has a lot of followers."
'This is cancel culture P&L'
Some of the publishers who spoke to CNN said that cancel culture is a major hindrance and could outweigh the financial considerations of publishing the former president. "If word got out we even read the pages, or took a meeting, the collective conscious of the people on the ground in the publishing business would come in to play," said a third person at a major publishing house. "Staff would leave, consumers, readers would leave, talent/authors would leave."
One former publishing executive said the possibility of "cancellation" over publishing a Trump book is a major profit-and-loss consideration. "This is cancel culture P&L," said the ex-executive. "That is what they are really afraid of. They are worried about employees. There would be mass walkouts. No one would stay for Trump. No amount of money would be worth it."
Although to a lesser degree, there are also fears about books from Trump administration veterans. Sources said it will be particularly challenging for Trump officials that did not resign to get book deals after the January 6 riot at the Capitol.