Trump's self-publicity machine strikes it rich seam

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You just can't keep Donald down. He is watched every Thursday night by millions of Americans as the star and co-producer of a reality TV show and now we learn that he has spun a book deal out of its success - for a million dollars or so. And, yes, in his spare time he is still a property tycoon.

The man is Donald Trump and the programme is The Apprentice , the surprise ratings hit of the current season.

It features two teams of aspiring moguls vying to complete a different business mission set each week for them by Trump. This Thursday, it was running a Times Square restaurant for a night. Most of all, however, The Apprentice , on NBC, is an hour of free promotion for Trump and for the other brands or companies he chooses to include. (The restaurant, by the way, was Planet Hollywood.)

And now he has the publishing contract. The book, How to Get Rich: Lessons from "The Apprentice" and other Big Deals , will be published by Random House this spring to coincide with the show's last episode. No literary agent was required. Trump did all the negotiating himself. "Everybody wanted to do it, so it was easy to make a deal," he boasted.

Random House preferred not to make the exact amount of the contract public. But it is no secret that it was a lot. "He got exactly what he wanted," said Jonathan Karp, the editorial director. "By the end of the negotiation, I needed oxygen." It will not be Trump's first book. The Art of the Deal , first published in 1988 by Random House, sold more than a million hardcover copies and another two million as a paperback. It was on America's bestseller list for 32 weeks.

The author, whose own business almost went into bankruptcy in the early 1990s, claims that his new tome is 80 per cent completed. He promises it will be a "how-to" book combined with titbits from the television series.