SBD/August 30, 2012/Media

Posnanski Says He Is "Very Proud" Of Paterno Bio, Discusses Reasons For Earlier Release

Posnanski's book is expected to hit No. 1 on the N.Y. Times bestseller list
Author Joe Posnanski defended his book “Paterno” on NBC Sports Network’s “Costas Tonight,” saying he was “very proud” of the way he altered the biography of late Penn State football coach Joe Paterno following the child sex abuse revelations against Jerry Sandusky. Posnanski said, “It was obviously very, very difficult to be in the middle of that and very, very difficult to figure out exactly how to write this book and how to stay above water.” The book was initially scheduled for release around Fathers’ Day next summer, but was moved up to earlier this month following the Sandusky reports and Paterno’s death in January. NBC's Bob Costas said, “There’s money at stake for you and for them (publisher Simon & Schuster) because the topic is hot and no matter whether critics approve of what you did or don’t, this book is going to be on the best-seller list. Maybe it would not have been as hot a seller had they waited for two or three years.” Posnanski said the release date was “certainly something we talked a lot about,” as it was a “very complicated situation.” Posnanski said that one of the reasons the book is out now is his thought that it was important to get Paterno’s “voice out there.” Posnanski: “As a journalist you want to be as timely as you can. … I’ve been asked, ‘Could you have waited, could you have waited?’ But nobody else waited. The story has been reported many, many different ways.” Meanwhile, it has been reported that Simon & Schuster gave Posnanski a $750,000 advance to write the biography, which Posnanski said is “not true.” Posnanski: “Too high -- significantly too high -- but substantial” (“Costas Tonight,” NBC Sports Network, 8/29).

RANKED NO. 1 IN THE POLLS: ESPN.com’s Darren Rovell noted the book “will debut at No. 1 on the New York Times' hardcover non-fiction best-seller list this week.” The book beat out "Obama's America" by Dinesh D'Souza "for the top spot." However, leading the list “doesn't mean that Simon & Schuster has recouped its investment from the book,” even though that “might not be as much as people imagined” (ESPN.com, 8/29). In Ft. Worth, Mac Engel reviewed the book and wrote under the header, “‘Paterno’ Should Have Been Shelved For 3 To 5 Years.” Posnanski’s “work and original interviews about the man are not worthless, but it is all too soon for a proper context of this man's life” (STAR-TELEGRAM.com, 8/29).
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