Saturday, July 26, 2008

Simon & Schuster Sues to Recover Book Advances


Publisher Simon & Schuster has grown tired of waiting for books from Lil Kim and Foxy Brown, a couple of rappers who were paid nice advances a few years ago to pen their thoughts on life and love. According to BlackVoices, the publisher is now suing both the young ladies in an attempt to recover the money paid out to them for books they have failed to deliver.

According to Publishers Lunch, in 2004, Inga (aka Foxy) was paid $75,000 for an autobiography that was due in 2006. The book was described as, "relating her teenage years as an avid reader and gifted student, to her fascination with men involved in the drug underworld, to rapping on Jay-Z's first big hit."Kim was paid $40,000 in 2003 for a novel that she was supposed to deliver in 2004. S&S spokesperson Adam Rothberg said, "both accepted the money and both books never were delivered."
These are not the first two "authors" who have been asked to return advances, of course, but I have to wonder how many books Simon & Schuster anticipated would be sold if the girls had actually delivered manuscripts for publication. Is there that big of a book audience among rappers and their fans in the first place? This seems like a bad investment on the publisher's part from the very beginning.

8 comments:

  1. Well, they might've figured that they could develop a book audience among rappers and their fans with these books. There's also all those people who will buy anything stamped with the names of their favorite people (actors, singers, whatever), just because those people had a part in their creation.

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  2. Well, I can't say that either book would be one I'd rush out to buy - wouldn't even be one I'd request from the library...

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  3. Probably so, Library Girl, but the odds are definitely stacked against any publisher hoping to sell a whole lot of books to rappers and their fans. Just doesn't compute, somehow...

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  4. Me either, Jen, but Simon & Schuster must think there are enough fans of theirs out there to make the gamble worthwhile to their bottom line.

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  5. What I can't understand is why the publisher expected these women to write the books. Have they never heard of ghostwriters?

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  6. What a great point, Evie...makes perfect sense and does make me wonder why a ghost was not considered...seems like it would solve the problem.

    Perhaps neither of the women wants to give enough time to their ghost to get the job done, though...that's all I can think of, anyway.

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  7. I think you'd be surprised at how many people would buy those books. They probably wouldn't be very popular with the mainstream audience, but there is a certain, smaller set of readers with which it would. Particularly with those readers who also purchase enough urban lit for it to be a profitable venture for publishers.

    It's not the kind of literature I read, but I know many people who do.

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  8. I'm sure that you're right, J.S., or Simon & Schuster wouldn't have risked the cash.

    I realize I'm in the grip of a stereotype here, but it just doesn't seem logical in my mind...the audiences don't seem to have much in common.

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