Open Letter Asks Publishers to Skip WH Memoir From Trump, Hundreds Sign On

Open Letter Asks Publishers to Skip WH Memoir From Trump, Hundreds Sign On donald trump smiles while holding book Donald Trump poses for a picture during a event to launch his new book "Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again" at Trump Tower on November 3, 2015 in New York. (KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images)

Monday, 18 January 2021 12:33 PM

Hundreds of authors, editors, and agents have signed an open letter asking publishers to skip a post-presidency memoir from Donald Trump.

Titled “No Book Deals for Traitors,” the letter was created by writer Barry Lyga, and first reported last week by the Los Angeles Times and Publisher’s Weekly.

“We all love book publishing, but we have to be honest — our country is where it is in part because publishing has chased the money and notoriety of some pretty sketchy people, and has granted those same people both the imprimatur of respectability and a lot of money through sweetheart book deals,” Lyga’s letter began.

“As members of the writing and publishing community of the United States, we affirm that participation in the administration of Donald Trump must be considered a uniquely mitigating criterion for publishing houses when considering book deals.”

Signers flooded in, including from the five biggest publishing houses, Penguin Random House, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, and Macmillan, according to Business Insider.

Lyga told the news outlet he'd been "noodling" with a version of the letter for a while, but the Capitol riots on Jan. 6 "really crystallized" the idea, and afterward, he began emailing people he knew in publishing, asking them to sign on.

“It grew organically. A lot of people feel passionately about this," Lyga said of the hundreds who began signing on — a number that doubled after the LA Times and Publisher's Weekly wrote about it, Business Insider reported.

Lyga pushed back at the notion this was thinly veiled censorship, tweeting “To those who believe this is censorship, I can say only this: If the first amendment guarantees book deals, then there are some publishers who turned down books of mine in the past who now owe me money.”

Trump hasn't said publicly whether he plans to write a memoir, but doing so is not unusual for ex-presidents, Business Insider noted, reporting Barack Obama's "A Promised Land" sold 887,000 copies in its first 24 hours and became an instant best seller.

Trump has written over 15 books before his presidency, starting with “Trump: The Art of the Deal” in 1987, one of his most successful, according to Amazon.

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