A Trump Memoir Would Sell. Will Publishers Buy It?

But blowback from within the industry to a Trump memoir, especially as he refuses to concede that he lost the election, is likely to be severe.

Celeste Ng, the author of the best-selling novel “Little Fires Everywhere,” said she wouldn’t hesitate to speak out against her publisher, Penguin Random House, if it struck a deal with Mr. Trump.

“We have every reason to believe a Trump memoir would be primarily misinformation, ungrounded opinions and flat-out lies,” she said in an email. “Don’t pay him to do it and don’t give him the legitimacy of a contract with a major publishing house. If you’re going to set yourself up as a gatekeeper, you have a responsibility for what goes through your gate.”

Some prominent writers who have been outspoken critics of the president said they would not object if a publisher took on the project. Stephen King, who has frequently denounced Mr. Trump on Twitter, said in an email that Mr. Trump should be given the opportunity to release his book, as a matter of principle.

“Anything he wrote would be a pack of self-serving lies, but I believe in the freedom of people to read what they want, and I hate censorship,” said Mr. King, who is one of Simon & Schuster’s top-selling authors. “Let him publish, if he wants. I hope my publisher won’t be the one to do it, but in any case I can’t wait to see the critics take him apart.”

Literary agents were also divided on whether the industry should embrace Mr. Trump. Esther Newberg, co-head of ICM Partners’ publishing division, said that while she hoped none of the major houses would buy Mr. Trump’s book, she could not afford to stop doing business with them if they did. But, she said, she represents authors she expects would take their work elsewhere.


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