Publishers lukewarm on Lewinsky book deal

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The Independent Online
MONICA LEWINSKY'S attempts to sell a book based on her experiences have not met with success. Several publishers have been approached, but so far none have taken the bait.

Oddly enough, distaste for the subject seems to be one factor in the thumbs-down that she has received. "No Thanks For the Memoirs," is the headline in the Washington Post. "I'm as big a whore as anyone, but I'd rather die first", says one publisher. "This whole situation is so unseemly. Why make it worse?" In addition, the release of the text of Kenneth Starr's report into the President's affair with the former White House intern has stolen much of the thunder.

"Off the record, the CEO really hates the whole situation", the spokeswoman for one publishing house said. "It's not really a sales decision. It's just a personal decision". And another said "I don't think we would do a book like that".

Ms Lewinsky has dropped out of sight since her sexual adventures in the White House were released to the world last week. It had been rumoured that she could get as much as $10m for her memoirs, but it seems that - though she will eventually get a contract - the sum will be much less than that.

The Starr report itself is selling by the hundreds of thousands, however. More than 1m copies have been sent to bookstores, selling for up to $10 a copy. The publishing industry is comforting itself with the idea that the success shows that the Internet has not undermined book sales, but helped them

Others have had similar disappointments in their efforts to get their political memoirs on to the bookshelves. George Stephanopolous, the former White House spokesman, won a $2.75m advance for All too Human, his version of events.

But the book, which was due for publication in November, has now been delayed so that the author can, his publisher said, "integrate these momentous events into his story".