(Reuters, Brian Snyder, October 30, 2008)
Like a child who falls down in the playground and then claims, "I meant to do that," Joe the plumber says that, oh sure, he could have gotten a huge payday from, say, Regnery Publishing or Random House, but instead chose to go with a tiny publisher with no ad budget just because he's, you know, keepin' it real:
"Everyone came at me to write a book. They had dollar signs in their eyes. '101 Things Joe the Plumber Knows' or some stupid s--- like that. Excuse me, I am sorry," he said. "You know I will get behind something solid, but I won't get behind fluff. I won't cash in, and when people do read the book they will figure out that I didn't cash in. At least I hope they figure that out."
The book, called "Joe the Plumber -- Fighting for the American Dream," is to be released by a group called PearlGate Publishing and other small publishing houses.
"I am not going to a conglomerate that way we actually can get the economy jump started. Like there is five publishing companies in Michigan. There's a couple down in Texas. They are small ones that can handle like 10 or 15,000 copies. I can go to a big one that could handle a million or two. But they don't need the help. They are already rich. So that's spreading the wealth to me," he said.
Righto! This is the guy who jumped at a recording contract and became more of an instant media whore than even Sarah Palin implying that he turned down offers from, you know, Knopf, McGraw-Hill, whatever, and instead chose PearlGate Publishing, a nothing company whose only other title is written by his ghost writer, the guy who I assume is also the owner*. Sounds totally believable to me! Who needs wheelbarrows full of money?
How soon before we hear that Joe is "developing a reality TV show"? Or selling his underwear on eBay? Joe the plumber: the second stupidest thing produced by the McCain campaign.
*This took about two seconds to confirm: the Go Daddy lookup shows that the registrant for PearlGate's web site is Tom Tabback, the above-mentioned ghost writer. Vanity publishing at its finest! Oh, Andrews McMeel must be kicking themselves right now!
UPDATE: Let's contrast this with Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com:
Which of Penguin's imprint will publish Mr. Silver has not yet been determined, however, as there are at least three within the company that are jockeying for the privilege. The pricetag, we hear, is above $600,000 but below $1 million—a healthy sum even though it's paying for two books rather than just one. Update, 5:00 p.m.: New intelligence says Mr. Silver's advance is in the neighborhood of $700,000, give or take a few grand.
Now Mr. Silver just has to choose which imprint he likes best, a process that is unlikely to be resolved before next week.