Sigh. Halperin/Heilemann land $5 million for Game Change 2012

Blog ››› ››› KARL FRISCH

According to a report in Crain's New York, Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, authors of January's Game Change, have landed a $5 million deal to pen a book focusing on the 2012 presidential election:

Book publishers must think the 2012 presidential campaign will be even more eventful and historic than 2008's. The Penguin Press, an imprint of the Penguin Group (USA), has just emerged as the winning bidder for the next election-year book by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin, authors of the current best seller and media sensation Game Change.

The price: a whopping $5 million-plus, according to several executives with knowledge of the bidding.

The deal was reached earlier this week between Penguin Press Publisher Ann Godoff and literary agent Andrew Wylie and his associate Scott Moyers. Despite Game Change's success, which has been fueled by the book's wealth of 2008 campaign gossip and revelations, publishing veterans were shocked by the payout.

"This is presidential memoir level money," said one executive familiar with the deal.

Talk about rewarding a pair of authors whose previous work, while no doubt selling very well, played fast and loose with journalistic ethics on just about every level.

Those working in and around the 2012 campaign should be forewarned... do not talk to this pair. Not on the record. Not off the record. Not on background. Not on deep background. Not on double super-secret probationary background. Nothing. If Game Change 2012 is anything like Game Change 2008, here is what we can expect:

Person
Mark Halperin, John Heilemann
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