Publishing houses 'wary' of acquiring a Trump memoir: 'A fact-checking nightmare'

Donald Trump
(Image credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Former President Donald Trump claims he has turned down not one, but two book deals. But according to a new report, he remains "radioactive in the Manhattan publishing world."

Major publishing houses "still are wary of publishing a book" by the 45th president, Politico reported Tuesday, despite the fact that former Vice President Mike Pence has two books on the way from Simon & Schuster. The prime concern, the report says, is that Trump's book "wouldn't be truthful."

"[I]t would be too hard to get a book that was factually accurate, actually," a publishing industry source told Politico. "That would be the problem. If he can't even admit that he lost the election, then how do you publish that?"

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

Keith Urbahn, president of the literary agency Javelin, also told Politico that the "headaches" such a book would present a publisher would "far outweigh the potential" upside, as "any editor bold enough to acquire the Trump memoir is looking at a fact-checking nightmare, an exodus of other authors, and a staff uprising in the unlikely event they strike a deal with the former president."

Trump, though, claimed last week that he has "turned down two book deals" because he doesn't "want to do such a deal right now," and he reiterated this assertion to Politico, saying the offers came from "two of the biggest and most prestigious publishing houses." Still, Politico reported that after reaching out to sources at Penguin Random House, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Macmillan Publishers, and Simon & Schuster, no one had heard about this happening.

"I'm skeptical," an insider told Politico. "He's screwed over so many publishers that before he ran for president none of the big 5 would work with [him] anymore."

Others said it's possible offers were indeed made, but a source told Politico, "Somebody could have offered him 100 dollars. It doesn't mean anything." Read more at Politico.

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.