At the beginning of October, in a post gnawing at the subject of ghostwriting, I wrote:
Will Palin’s book include shared credit with her collaborator? I don’t know, but I hope so.
The answer, apparently, is no:
Lynn Vincent, a senior writer for Christian World, is widely reported to have done the gruntwork on Going Rogue — proving so efficient that Palin’s manuscript was delivered early and allowed HarperCollins to move the publication date from spring 2010.
Vincent is not getting a byline on Going Rogue, and she’s not disclosing her fee.
My concern about ghostwriting, as previously noted, is that it is lying. In some cases these lies are killing people. I also don’t think it helps our political process to allow people to be credited with things they did not do, and I would say that about any candidate.
Regarding HarperCollins’ deal for Palin’s book, it looks like all the high-flying cynicism displayed in the production and marketing of her book may be for naught:
For Going Rogue, no publication has publicly stepped up to claim first serial rights — running the juiciest excerpts before the book comes out, which either kindles or extinguishes public anticipation for it. Such an excerpt deal may have been struck for The Oprah Winfrey Show, which features Palin in an interview the day before the book’s release; the public will find out on Monday.
Of course, the stars could still align in Palin’s favor. She could produce the hit she and her publisher are looking for. But the math suggests that it may be the readers who go rogue on Palin — and on HarperCollins’s plans to right the wrongs of its dismal book sales.
If the book stalls, I would like to think that the brute-force mockery of the authorial process had something to do with it, but I know that’s naive. It’s the recession.
— Mark Barrett
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