SBD/July 23, 2012/Media

"Paterno" Book Publisher Revamps Release Plans Amid Penn State Scandal

Publisher Simon & Schuster is “backpedaling quickly in the final weeks before the publication of ‘Paterno,’ which has emerged as perhaps one of the most unfortunately timed books of 2012,” according to Julie Bosman of the N.Y. TIMES. The book will enter the market “at a moment when the name of Joe Paterno, the late Penn State coach, has gone from revered to radioactive.” Simon & Schuster “moved up the release date of the Paterno book from Father’s Day 2013 to August 2012.” The title was changed from “The Grand Experiment: The Life and Meaning of Joe Paterno,” to the more neutral “Paterno.” The publishing house is now “limiting interviews” with author Joe Posnanski and “scaling back a planned book tour.” Simon & Schuster Exec VP & Publisher Jonathan Karp said that the release of the Freeh Report “had complicated matters for the book.” Karp said, “It’s made people angrier at Joe Paterno. And that has made it a more difficult environment to publish a biography about Joe Paterno.” Simon & Schuster “acquired the book for a reported $750,000,” and Karp said that he “expected the company would print close to 75,000 copies.” If Simon & Schuster were “to lose close to $1 million on the book, it would be an unpleasant but not particularly significant sum for an imprint of its size.” Philadelphia-based Joseph Fox Bookshop Owner Michael Fox said of the book, “I just don’t want it on my shelf. It’s distasteful and it’s not up to date.” Bosman notes the book will get its “first airing in mid-August, when an excerpt is expected to run in the September issue of GQ.” The issue is set appear on newsstands in N.Y. and L.A. on Aug. 14 (N.Y. TIMES, 7/23).
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