Super-star best-selling author and Kennedy-family expert Laurence Leamer and his new book “The Price of Justice” are being tortured by the brain-dead legacy publishing industry and the low-info dolts who run TV.
Below are two emails Leamer sent out to his friends and fellows describing what is and is not happening with his latest book.
“The Price of Justice,” which is almost guaranteed to become a movie some day, is about a pair of nobody Pittsburgh lawyers who went to court to challenge the nasty business practices of Don Blankenship, the former West Virginia coal baron and CEO of Massey Energy.
Leamer is a major best-selling dude.
Here’s how Wikipedia describes him:
Leamer is … regarded as an expert on the Kennedy family and has … also written best-selling biographies of other American icons, including Johnny Carson, the Reagan family, and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Here’s what Leamer wrote about his recent publishing experience in two emails sent May 15:
Subject: How is this possibly happening?
I’ve had a hell of a time with The Price of Justice, my new book. Seventeen publishers rejected it. They said the same thing. The proposal was excellent, the story compelling and important but it was set in West Virginia and was about the coal industry and nobody would read it. The Price of Justice has gotten the best reviews of my career, but when my publicist tries to pitch the book to national television as soon as she mentions West Virginia and coal, the bookers turn off. So I’ve gotten no national publicity and no national reviews. It’s key to have books up front at Barnes & Noble. The publishers pay for this. Barnes & Noble had the same reaction as the bookers and they have refused to give us national coop. In most of America, you have to walk to the back of the store and find maybe one or two copies in the legal section. When I asked my agent if she had ever heard of a book succeed with such distribution, she said no. Yet an amazing thing is happening. The book is taking off. It’s 223 on Amazon now and about the same on the Barnes & Noble website. That’s New York Times bestseller list territory. I’m just shaking my head and wondering how this is possibly happening.
His follow-up email offered more detail:
My book agent is Joy Harris. She’s not only one of the best in the business but one of the most thoughtful. If anyone should be concerned with the fact that I haven’t been able to get any national publicity for The Price of Justice, she should be. But she put it in perspective for me this morning. The problem, she suggests, is that when 29 miners at killed at Upper Big Branch or when 26 people are massacred at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the media are there. But within days the journalists fold up their tents and wait until the next tragic circus. They have no time or intention of exploring the underlying causes. When Leslie Brandon, my publicist at Henry Holt, tries to book me to talk about The Price of Justice on national television, the producers want a news hook. If Don Blankenship, the villain of my book, is indicted they will happily have me on. But they don’t have the time, the space, the intention of exploring the underlying problems of a region like West Virginia. It’s a small state and the people are disregarded or caricatured. But the wonderful thing is that people are hungry for what I have to say in this book, hungry to read about the battle of two ordinary lawyers against the most powerful coal baron in American history. Amazon is running out of books, and in West Virginia there is a groundswell not simply of interest but excitement that finally somebody has told the truth about the corruption of the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, the corruption of the political system, the corruption of Don Blankenship and Massey.
If Leamer has this much trouble getting a serious book published and promoted and covered by TV, what chance do no-name rookies have?
Maybe Jon Stewart or Brian Lamb will come to the rescue.
As of today, here are the Amazon sales rankings for “The Price of Justice,” which hopefully will be a success that makes the legacy publishing industry look bad: