Keith Kelly broke the story first, but the deal is now confirmed — Penguin Press has won the auction for Alan Greenspan’s memoirs, forking over a rumored “eight million-plus” for the proposal that was shopped by Bob Barnett, who got quite the commission for the book by Mr. and Mrs. Clinton (or, as one tipster points out, “As more of a literary lawyer than literary agent, I do believe Barnett charges his clients by the hour as opposed to the standard commission.”)
PW Daily’s Rachel Deahl notes the raised eyebrows that seem to be making the rounds at the London Book Fair. “Although the acquisition clearly brings with it some sizeable cache, questions about how well the title can perform in the marketplace abound. Many are certainly wondering whether the book could really be worth it’s fetching price, but then again, the mystique that Greenspan has cultivated over the years, and his eventful two-decade tenure as Fed Chairman, may find a large readership not only here but abroad.”
And as the NYT’s Edward Wyatt points out, Godoff bought world rights, so it could recoup some of its costs by selling the right to publish translated editions of the book in foreign countries.
Ms. Godoff said to Wyatt that she was confident that Mr. Greenspan’s book would appeal to an audience far beyond the financial world and avid readers of the business pages of daily newspapers. “I think his life and his career are different from any business luminary you can mention,” Ms. Godoff said. “His experience over the last 50 years in international relations, his knowledge of the way the world works in general, and his relationships with everybody important in the world cannot be matched by anyone.”
Mystique, bragging rights — who says it’s not junior high all over again? But if Godoff gets to be Queen for a Day, it’s only fitting considering it hasn’t been all that long since people mistook her for a dead woman walking, professionally speaking. That’s certainly not the case anymore…