In the Race for Trump Tell-Alls, Simon & Schuster Is Leading


There are more in the pipeline. Later this summer, Simon & Schuster will release “You’re Fired: The Perfect Guide to Beating Donald Trump,” by the political strategist Paul Begala, and “Make Russia Great Again,” a satirical novel by Christopher Buckley that is written as a memoir by the fictional Herb Nutterman, Trump’s seventh chief of staff. In September, the company is publishing Bob Woodward’s sequel to his 2018 best seller, “Fear,” which produced wall-to-wall cable news coverage of its contents and sold around 2 million copies.

[“The Room Where It Happened,” Times critic Jennifer Szalai writes, “toggles between two discordant registers: exceedingly tedious and slightly unhinged.”]

As a publisher who has worked with both conservative and liberal public figures, Mr. Karp has developed a reputation for knowing which political books will work commercially and how to market them.

“Jon is a really hands-on publisher who understands how to reach different audiences across the political spectrum, which is what you have to do in this very polarized day and age,” said Matt Latimer, a co-founder of the Javelin Agency, which represents Mr. Bolton. “You can’t just throw Trump on the cover and assume the book will succeed.”

In a presidential election year, it’s not unusual to have a bumper crop of books dissecting the persona and performance of the incumbent. But even before 2020, the sheer volume of White House memoirs, tell-alls and book-length investigative journalism has been unusual for a sitting president in his first term.

The high turnover in the administration might have accelerated the cycle. Many of the books are by administration officials and aides who were fired or resigned, including Mr. Bolton, James B. Comey, Andrew G. McCabe, Cliff Sims and Omarosa Manigault Newman.

“The books certainly seem to be coming earlier,” said Robert Barnett, a Washington lawyer who represents Mr. Woodward and Mary Jordan, the author of the Melania Trump book published this week. “It’s no secret that this administration has been highly controversial, and that engenders a bigger and better market for books exploring it.”

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