×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Booksellers salivating over Clinton’s ‘Life’

Memoir skedded for late June and 1.5 mil copies

The media biz just got its Fourth of July headline sensation — publication of Bill Clinton’s book, which will provide the first public accounting of his White House years and his affair with intern Monica Lewinsky.

Alfred A. Knopf prexy and editor-in-chief Sonny Mehta announced Monday that the former president’s memoirs, titled “My Life,” will hit the stands in late June with a whopping first printing of 1.5 million copies.

“It is a riveting personal drama as well as a fascinating look at the American political arena over the past four decades. He talks with candor about his successes as well as his setbacks, looking at both his career in public service and his life,” Mehta said.

Announcement ended furious speculation that Clinton — known for being habitually late — was nowhere near close to being done writing, despite repeated assurances that the book would be released in mid-2004.

Publisher, which paid Clinton a $10 million-$12 million advance, said the author has turned in most of the manuscript and that the book will be published on a somewhat accelerated cycle.

Some Democrats have complained Clinton’s book could steal attention from Democratic prez candidate John Kerry just as Kerry prepares for the Democratic National Convention, which starts July 26.

Clinton will reach out to booksellers and publishing industry execs on June 3, when he’s skedded to appear at BookExpo America and give the annual confab’s opening keynote speech. This year’s BookExpo is being held in Chicago.

Otherwise, Knopf and Clinton’s attorney, Robert B. Barnett, have yet to announce what’s expected to be a busy book tour, including at least one or two major television interviews. Barnett said all the broadcast network news divisions are vying to secure the first interview with Clinton.

Neither Knopf nor Barnett is worried about book sales suffering from a summer release.

“It’s fair to say that there is incredible anticipation,” Barnett said. “You could release this book in the freezing of winter or the boiling of summer.”

Still, Knopf has much riding on “My Life” and is banking on the fact that Clinton’s book will stand above all other political books of the moment, some of which are bestsellers.

Last year, wife Hillary Rodham Clinton’s book, “Living History,” became an instant hit, selling 600,000 copies in its first week and quickly earning back its $8 million advance. It has sold more than 1.3 million copies to date in hardcover.

An abridged version of “My Life” also will be available from Random House Audio, read by President Clinton.

More News

  • Kevin Hart Oscars Gay Tweet Controversy

    What Public Figures Should Learn From the Kevin Hart Oscars Debacle (Guest Column)

    When social media erupted over Kevin Hart’s anti-gay tweets from years ago, many in the media and the entertainment industry believed he would immediately apologize, LGBTQ people would critique but ultimately accept his mea culpa, and the comedian would go on to host the Academy Awards. If offenders make a commitment to do better, their [...]

  • Jamal Khashoggi

    Jamal Khashoggi, Other Journalists Named Time's Person of the Year

    Time selected Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, Philippine editor Maria Ressa, jailed Reuters reporters Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo and the Capital Gazette of Annapolis, Md. as the magazine’s Person of the Year, recognizing the journalists as “guardians” at a time of a “war on truth.” “In its highest forms, influence — the measure that has for nine [...]

  • Chris McCarthy on Reinventing MTV, Moving

    Chris McCarthy on Reinventing MTV, Moving From 'Buy to Build Mentality'

    As goes MTV, so goes Viacom. For the industry, there is no stronger measure of the health of Viacom than the state of MTV. Chris McCarthy, a 15-year Viacom veteran, has been leading the effort to revive the brand since October 2016, when he added oversight of MTV to his portfolio that already included VH1 [...]

  • Assassin's Creed

    'Duke Nukem' Movie Draws 'Assassin's Creed' Producer

    A “Duke Nukem” movie is in the works with Gearbox Software teaming with “Assassin’s Creed” producer Jean-Julien Baronnet to adapt the video game into a feature film, Variety has learned exclusively. Gearbox had been working on “Duke Nukem” with Paramount Studios and Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes, with John Cena rumored as a possible star earlier [...]

  • Bob Bakish Variety Cover Story

    Inside Bob Bakish's Aggressive Turnaround Plan for Viacom

    Bob Bakish was days into his job as CEO of Viacom in late 2016 when he began convening meetings with senior executives to execute a triage effort to save the once-mighty media giant. Paramount Pictures had just posted a $445 million annual loss. Viacom’s cable networks were in danger of being dropped by major distributors [...]

  • Carol Burnett

    Carol Burnett to Receive Inaugural Golden Globe Television Special Achievement Award

    Carol Burnett will receive the inaugural Golden Globe television special achievement award, the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. (HFPA) announced Tuesday. Aptly named the Carol Burnett Award, this new honor will celebrate the highest level of achievement in the medium. Burnett, who is a five-time Globe winner — the most decorated in the television category — [...]

  • Audrey HepburnOn the film set of

    Audrey Hepburn to Be Subject of New TV Drama Series (EXCLUSIVE)

    A TV drama series about the life of Hollywood icon Audrey Hepburn is being developed by Wildside, the expanding Italian production company behind “The Young Pope” and “My Brilliant Friend,” with plans to start shooting in 2020. The Oscar-winning actress was one of Hollywood’s most recognizable faces of the 20th century and was celebrated for [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content