Yesterday afternoon the Bookseller broke the story that literary lawyer to the stars Bob Barnett would be representing Tony Blair – and shopping around the former UK prime minister’s interests to America first. So of course, people are wondering a) who will get the book and b) how much they will have to pay for it. Bill Clinton money? Alan Greenspan money? Something even greater?
The advance will be inflated by Blair’s perceived value in the US, said one leading publisher of political books. “The Americans love him. They see him as an articulate George W. Bush. He’ll get a good whack out of a US publisher.” And the direct approach to the US is seen to thwart UK agents who were vying for a slice of the action. “It will be a shoot out between HarperCollins and Random House, but I think HarperCollins will prevail despite the much trumped link with Gail Rebuck‘s husband. [Rupert] Murdoch‘s keen and heâ€™s got deep pockets,” said a major non-fiction publisher. “They’ve been political bedfellows for a very long time, and [News Corp] is a multimedia company,” a leading UK literary agent added. Shootout royale? Major league auction? Stay tuned, as the drill goes..