Publisher Scraps Sanford Book - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Publisher Scraps Sanford Book

Book on fiscal conservatism suddenly too hot to handle

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    The romantic South Carolinian scribe has been released from his contract to write a book about economics.

    Aw, poor Mark Sanford! He's got no lady-love, his wife hates his guts, his job's in peril, and now it looks like he has been denied even the simple comfort of literature.

    A while back, Sanford sold a book to Sentinel, Penguin's conservative imprint. The book was going to be all about how to be a "fiscal conservative," which is to say, somebody who whines about how awful it is to spend money or raise taxes while borrowing ever-increasing sums from the Chinese in order to fund violent foreign adventures.

    Of course, when Sanford sold the book, nobody outside of a handful of South Carolinians knew or cared who he was. That's all changed, now that he's the Lovelorn Swain of the Southeast singing his sad ballad of forbidden love to the Associated Press.

    But a little notoriety isn't so bad when it comes to selling books, right? Just ask James Frey!

    Sanford's publisher apparently disagrees. Today, after a week of intense speculation among book fans, Sentinel announced they had "agreed to release" the governor from his contract. Boo!

    Yesterday afternoon, an item on the CNN Political Ticker speculated that Sentinel would rejigger Mr. Sanford's book—originally titled Within Our Means and planned for a spring 2010 publication—and have him write a tell-all about the scandal instead. [Associate publisher Will] Weisser fanned the flames by telling the CNN reporter that a decision had not been reached and that the result "could be anything."

    Evidently they elected to go with "nothing" instead.

    This is truly a shame. Sanford's obviously a competent writer, as evidenced by his emails to his mistress. By spring 2010, everybody will have forgotten about his sexcapades anyhow. For Sentinel to scrap their plans now makes no sense at all.

    Former literary agent Sara K. Smith writes for NBC and Wonkette.