How Not To Handle a Book Deal

If you ever get one of those lucrative book deals, here’s not how to handle it.

Penguin Group commissioned best selling author Adrian Wojnarowski to write a biography of former North Carolina State Coach Jim Valvano. Wojnarowski, who had previously written a best seller about former Duke University Guard and New Jersey high school basketball coach Bobby Hurley, received a $400,000 deal with $140,000 advanced pay.
Of course, you got to then write the book. Wojnarowski, a Yahoo! Sports columnist, never actually did that part. According to the New York Post, the Penguin Group waited, and waited, and waited. August 1, 2007 was the original deadline for the first copy of the manuscript, but Wojnarowski never sent it in.

Penguin Group cut the pay for the book to $325,000. Still Penguin never got a copy, so they sent a “final delivery date” on June 1, 2010. It still never came and Penguin has filed suit to reclaim the advanced pay.

“I had no idea it had gotten to that point,” said Wojnarowski to the New York Post. “I’m literally sending them the money today.”

Hey Penguin, huge college basketball fan over here. If you need someone to write up that Valvano story on time, drop me a line.