11.16.2006

The OJ Book

Dear Miss Snark,

You know whereof you speak. Platform prevails. ReganBooks – HarperCollins – stands to make a bundle off an infamous murder because – well – O. J. has a great platform. The entire industry should feel shame.


OJ has noteriety, not platform, and I'm not taking the blame for this one.

If you guys are having hissy fits about this book, here's a clue: DON'T BUY IT. Organize a boycott of stores that carry it. Write letters to the editor about how disgusting it is.

I'll tell you this about Judith Regan: she didn't get her own imprint, her own production company, and a vice presidency at Harper cause she loses money. Noooooo. Judith Regan is very very astute, which means she knows what people will buy.

People can publish any thing they think will sell but if it doesn't sell they will stop publishing it. You can express your outrage in a very concrete way: don't buy the book.

40 comments:

Lorra said...

On the news they showed a clip of OJ surrounded by fans waiting for him to sign their copy of his book.

And now I see that Michael Jackson is making a comeback.

I don't get it.

Dave said...

One of my clueless friends wondered why there were people campling out at Best Buy and other electronic stores. I told him that they were wiating for autographed copies of the OJ book.
That was mean of me, really mean and nasty. Unkind, impolite. But it felt SO good. The book is trash, garbage and appeals to the worst in society.

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

HOW big was OJ's advance for this, how little of it will be recouped, and how many aspiring or mid-list authors could that advance have helped out?

No worries about ME buying that drek. OJ starred in the made-for-TV movie based on my friend's book. He played a white, middle-aged detective with blue eyes. I haven't had respect for him since that.

John Anthony Sperling said...

A Haiku

Justice is a sham
People camp for murder book
I'd like some more gin

Zany Mom said...

Actually I think they're waiting in line for Playstation 3 to hit the shelves, according to my 8-yr-old son.

I thought the OJ book came out on Nov. 30? But what do I know.

Cathy in AK said...

I always thought I had a strong stomach until I heard about this garbage. Please pass the Pepto :P

Corn Dog said...

O.J. can take his book and shove it up his Bronco. I was working at Ingram Book (now Ingram Micro), one of the largest book wholesalers, when Nixon's book came out. It was a "no sale." They ended up being sold in the Ingram company store for 50 cents. The employees wouldn't even buy them. A lot of them ended up on the warehouse floor being run over by forklifts and shopping carts. May O.J.'s book suffer the same fate.

Kim said...

Is it just me or does someone else smell something burning? And is that a fiddle I hear?

Or, where are we going and why are we in this handbasket?

This is too sad for words....

Ski said...

Once again Miss Snark is the bearer of common sense. This is exactly what I had planned on doing. I'm pleased that I'm learning from the sage. Maybe there's hope for me yet.

Rgds............Ski

Anonymous said...

I'll tell you this about Judith Regan: she didn't get her own imprint, her own production company, and a vice presidency at Harper cause she loses money. Noooooo. Judith Regan is very very astute, which means she knows what people will buy.

Bingo.

And she knows that all the protests will serve as publicity, and even more sales will result.

Shame on this publisher is right.

The best we can do is ignore this piece of shit. It’s going to sell, but there’s no reason for intelligent people to fuel the fire.

A. Jonathan Cox said...

I believe Judith Reagan had something to do with Howard Stern's book. He discussed it at length earlier this week and, like most rational people, was concerned with the motives behind it. He also said that when he was working with her on his book - she despised O.J..

Ultimately I think the target audience isn't the "Hey, lets see how OJ would have done it, if he did it in the first place and I'm not saying he did"-crowd, but the "Holy shit, I can't believe someone has the plums to pay OJ to write a book like that"-crowd. Which, in all honesty, is what I'd say if I didn't know better.

In the end, it's not just an exploitation of the Brown's and the Goldman's tragedy, but it takes advantage of every one who has been the victim of a violent crime. Once you've been through that sort of tragedy, it's easy to put yourself in the shoes of someone - anyone - who's also gone through it (i.e. on the nightly news, dateline etc...)

I just hope he uses the money to help track down the real killer.

Tulie said...

Not sure how to make this link live:

http://abcnews.go.com/2020/LegalCenter/story?id=2660635&page=1&CMP=OTC-RSSFeeds0312

So apparently she's making him a millionaire again (several times over) as therapy for herself, and all of us who've ever been abused by a man.

Whatever.

nbevilaqua said...

"I just hope he uses the money to track down the real killer"? Wait. I haven't finished my coffee yet, nor have I yet moved on to the day's hard stuff, but you ARE kidding, right?
Not being very organized myself, I'm not much good at organizing others, but there must be a more potent way to shove the whole thing back down into the sewer than, as an individual, not buying the book (there's certainly no danger that I would EVER watch Fox, even if they were the only network covering the Apocalypse). But what is it?

Anonymous said...

Some things are more important than money.

Anonymous said...

Judith Regan...knows what people will buy.

My enormous respect and affection for Miss Snark is strained here. It doesn't require genius marketing instincts to see that this book will sell. It's a bit like betting on the market for guns and bombs in feuding African countries. Of course the market is there, but are you unscrupulous enough to go for it? No problem for Regan. I HAVE to believe it would be a problem for Miss Snark, but I worry about the lack of even a hint of condemnation.

elaine said...

I'm not in any way defending the publication of this book--I think the whole idea is despicable--or Ms. Regan's reasons for doing it, but in the interest of having the whole story (or at least, what Ms. Regan claims is the whole story), here is her statement issued to The Drudge Report on why she is publishing this book:

http://drudgereport.com/flash1jr.htm

The money is supposedly going to his children, but I have to wonder--if you were OJ's kids, would you want the money from that book?

Tattieheid said...

Boycotts will allow people to let off steam but the book will still sell, it's a sad world we live in.

However I don't believe in censorship , once you go down that route where do you draw the line. I don't blame the publisher, I blame the public who will buy the book in large numbers. Society hasn't really evolved much over the years.

Anonymous said...

This book should come out with a plain brown wrapper cover. I can't imagine any normal human being would want to be caught reading it in public.

Anonymous said...

Don't blast all the booksellers. I heard that HarperCollins sold this book "blind" to them. They had no idea whose book it was.

If I owned a bookstore stuck with this s*#t, I'd put up a sign informing customers how it was pitched to the store's buyer.

J. F. Constantine said...

Don't worry, Miss Snark, I wouldn't buy this garbage anyway. Ditto on what Tulie said above.

I do believe someday he will get his. Plutarch said, "There is no need for either God or man to punish evildoers, but that their lives are sufficient, all distraught and ruined as they are by their own villainy."

Anonymous said...

Tattieheid said...I don't blame the publisher, I blame the public who will buy...etc.

Really? So you don't blame the drug lords, you blame the stupid teenagers buying drugs? You don't blame the Ponzi schemers, you blame the retired suckers? You don't blame the gun sellers, or the parents who get drunk and fight in front of their kids, or the terrorists who sell uneducated, starving, dream-less boys on the harems waiting for them in heaven...just for blowing themselves up? Really?

katiesandwich said...

I don't see how anyone could say that the entire industry should be ashamed about OJ's book. The entire industry didn't do this, HarperCollins did.

Anonymous said...

After reading her statement on The Drudge Report, I'm willing to give Judith Regan the benefit of a doubt.

Either her heart was in the right place, or she's a better con artist than OJ.

Either way, the book might actually be a good study into the mind of a sociopath.

Kim said...

I don't have a problem with bookstores selling it as it's the right of the individual owner whether or not to do so (I'm not counting the chains here because the bottom line is what matters the most, for better or for worse.)

I don't have a problem with it being published - though I agree it is in appalling taste - because I also do not believe in censorship.

I don't have a problem with people reading it - altho I do believe THAT to be every bit as appalling. Again, if you want to read garbage, go ahead. It's pathetic, but what can you do.

I DO have a problem with it if that man makes one dime off it. I DO have a problem with the fact that he has not made ANY effort to satisfy a court-ordered judgment to the Goldman family (I can't remember if the Brown family sued or not as well.) And I think anyone who actually plunks down the money for that book should remember that this man is making money off the murders of two people.

Keep your fingers crossed that the Goldman family is successful in their quest to find out just how and where the money for this book is going.

Karma... let's hope it really does exist

Cara said...

Ouch! I just read an AP article where she compares publishers keeping Mein Kampf in print to this situation.
Hitler, OJ....same sentence? To hell with a clue gun, just bitch slap her!
Ok, I admit I did have to laugh at the absurdness. If it weren't for media, we'd never have heard of OJ!

Chumplet said...

My son had a great idea. Sneak into the bookstore with a black Sharpie and cross out the word 'If' on the cover of every copy.

They'll still buy it. Yanno, the people who like to watch cars burning and riots rioting. People are mostly dum dums. Ugh.

Except Miss Snark, EE, snarklings, minions, and all my best friends. Oh, and also my family... I guess.

A Naughty Miss said...

Oh, but OJ does has platform. This book wouldn't fly if it was by any other murderer.

Here's my idea for a new book: "If I Could Do It..." 101 ways to make OJ go away.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I've always found O.J. repulsive. That he would do something like this doesn't surprise me - what would surprise me is if anyone buys it!

Ken Boy said...

I couldn't care less about OJ's book. It's just one more on the shelves I won't bother with. A drop in the celebrity-culture ocean.

Anonymous said...

As posted on cnn.com
Simpson publisher: Why I did it
POSTED: 5:32 p.m. EST, November 17, 2006
Adjust font size:
NEW YORK (AP) -- Under a barrage of criticism, Judith Regan says she published O.J. Simpson's book "If I Did It" because she was a victim of domestic violence and thought the proceeds would go to Simpson's children.

In an eight-page statement released Friday, Regan said Simpson approached her with the idea for the book, in which he hypothesizes how he would have committed the killings of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman.

"I didn't know what to expect when I got the call that the killer wanted to confess," Regan said in the statement titled "Why I Did It." "But I knew one thing. I wanted the confession for my own selfish reasons and for the symbolism of that act. For me, it was personal."

Although Regan has acknowledged that Simpson does not directly say he killed the pair, she said she considers the book to be his confession.

"My son is now 25 years old, my daughter 15," said Regan's statement. "I wanted them, and everyone else, to have a chance to see that there are consequences to grievous acts. ... And I wanted, as so many victims do, to hear him say, 'I did it and I am sorry."'

"I didn't know if he would," she wrote. "But I wanted to try. I wanted his confession."

Regan said she did not pay Simpson for the book. "I contracted through a third party who owns the rights, and I was told the money would go to his children. That much I could live with."

"What I wanted was closure, not money," she wrote.

Simpson was acquitted in 1995 of murder in the 1994 slayings after a highly charged trial. The former National Football League star was later found liable in a wrongful-death suit filed by the Goldman family but has failed to pay the $33.5 million judgment.

Regan said the book was a way to undo the "criminal injustice system" that let her own abuser go free.

She said she was abused while in her 20s by a man "who could charm anyone" and with whom she had a child. "And then he knocked me out, with a blow to my head and sent me to the hospital," she said. She said police initially didn't believe her story.

"I made the decision to publish this book, and to sit face to face with the killer, because I wanted him, and the men who broke my heart and your hearts, to tell the truth, to confess their sins, to do penance and to amend their lives," she said.

"If I Did It," published by ReganBooks -- an imprint to HarperCollins -- is scheduled for release November 30. Fox is airing a two-part TV interview of Simpson on November 27 and 29. HarperCollins and Fox are owned by News Corp.

After word of the book emerged, Regan wrote, she's watched as the media "have all but called for my death for publishing his book and for interviewing him."

"To publish does not mean 'to endorse'; it means 'to make public,"' she said.

"If you doubt that, ask the mainstream publishers who keep Adolf Hitler's 'Mein Kampf' in print to this day. ... There is historical value in such work ... for anyone who wants to gain insight into the mind of a sociopath."

katiesandwich said...

Chumplet, your son made me laugh. If I could get away with it, I totally would, but I think my two screaming kids would draw too much attention to me at Borders... or wherever the book is sold.

Anonymous said...

According to Publishers' Lunch, some booksellers who bought the book blind have announced that they are donating their share of the proceeds to charity.

I can see the rationale for publishing odious books, but I can't imagine the sales figures for Mein Kampf are very high compared to what the OJ book will pull in. I accept that Judith Regan has the right to publish the book to earn a bundle of dough, but I'm not loving her attempt to take the moral high ground at the same time. I'm also curious about the "third party" to whom the profits are apparently going.

Laura(southernxyl) said...

I don't understand Regan's rationale as expressed in the CNN article at all. At all. It makes no sense to me. "Although Regan has acknowledged that Simpson does not directly say he killed the pair, she said she considers the book to be his confession." What the heck does that mean? "'I wanted them, and everyone else, to have a chance to see that there are consequences to grievous acts.'" What consequences?

Also, the weasely "I was told" crap is what gives passive voice a bad name. Who, exactly, told her the money would go to the children?

Tattieheid, only the government can censor. For a publisher to refuse to publish a book is NOT censorship. Otherwise there could be no unpublished work.

whitemouse said...

There is no such thing as bad publicity. If you want to do something proactive about this book, you should not only not buy it, you should also not TALK about it.

I.e. Delete this blog entry. Boycott not just the book, but the discussion of it.

The more buzz the book gets, the more it will sell. Outrage is also - unfortunately - a form of buzz. People get curious about something that causes a lot of fuss. Just look at James Frey's book.

whitemouse said...

PS - You can replace your blog entries on the O.J. book with the following graphic:

boycott.gif

randomsome1 said...

A Naughty Miss said: Here's my idea for a new book: "If I Could Do It..." 101 ways to make OJ go away.

I'd buy that. Hey, you may have an idea in the vein of the James Frey spoof A Million Little Lies!

mahukey said...

I actually think Reagan is a genuis of first order. Sure, I did it for my poor abused soul...yada, yada. No dear you'd did it for the money. And this "press conference" is called publicity. Titanium balls on both of them!
I want a shameless hussy like this to sell my books someday. God lord I must think of something shocking and appalling to do in the meantime.So she can denounce me!
Hmmm.....

tinkerbell said...

> You can express your outrage in a very concrete way: don't buy the book.

Bingo. Well said.

Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little said...

Those of you who have said, I have no problem with this book being published, because I don't believe in censorship, strike me as rather clueless about the nature of censorship.

"Censorship" is too important a term to dilute by misapplying it to HarperCollins' decision whether to buy a manuscript.

HarperCollins has the right to say YES or NO to any and every manuscript to cross their editorial desks. If you think that saying NO to If I Did It would have amounted to censorship, do you also think it would also be censorship if they didn't buy your book?

And, no, if HarperCollins had said NO based not on marketability but on political/ethical reasons, that would not be "censorship" either. That's called "a boycott." HarperCollins had the same right to boycott OJ's manuscript as you have the right to boycott the finished book. If you think less of people who buy and read the finished book rather than joining in on the boycott, why do you not also think less of HarperCollins?

Now, you want to talk censorship, talk to me about a book that all publishers are afraid to publish for fear of government reprisal. Talk to me about someone the FCC fined for controversial material. Talk to me about authors being given a hard time by Homeland Security for writing material critical of the Bush administration. But DON'T talk to me about a private commercial organization exercising its right to buy or not buy.

randomsome1 said...

As an addendum: Borders will put all proceeds from this book to charity.