‘Primary’s’ author inks Dial deal

Multibook pact includes paperback and book club rights

NEW YORK — The author of “Primary Colors” will be anything but Anonymous when he publishes his next work of fiction.

Joe Klein, who wrote the thinly veiled account of President Clinton’s 1992 campaign, signed a “multi-book agreement” Thursday morning with Dial Press, an imprint of Dell Publishing.

Neither the publisher nor Klein’s agent, Kathy Robbins, would comment on the terms or nature of the deal, but sources estimated that with the popularity of “Primary Colors” and the fact that the Mike Nichols-helmed pic opened the Cannes Film Fest this week, Klein likely scored well into the seven-figure range.

Klein was in Cannes for the showing and could not be reached for comment.

For its money, Dial acquired North American hardcover, paperback, bookclub and audio publication rights to the upcoming tomes.

Klein, currently a staff writer for the New Yorker, is said to be writing the first of the novels — another story set in the contemporary political scene — now. His editor will be Susan Kamil, veepee and editorial director of Dial Press.

“I enjoyed working with Random House on ‘Primary Colors’; it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience — especially the Anonymous part,” Klein said in a statement. “Now that I’ve begun my fiction career as Joe Klein, I’ve been fortunate to have several great publishing options.”

Insiders suggested that a number of houses had been involved in efforts to sign Klein, including Random House. Calls to Random House late Thursday were not returned.

Klein will continue to write for the New Yorker as he works on fiction.

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