Some speculate, of course, is that Obama himself is trying his hand at fiction, despite S&S denying such claims, while others question well-known authors and journalists. But no one can know for sure until the book hits shelves next week.
S&S is keeping things under wraps as best they can, going so far as to askingreporters not to comment on the story until it's been released. Yahoo! News writer Michael Calderone tells us more:
Time's Joe Klein said he didn't write Simon & Schuster's forthcoming Obama novel. Several other Beltway figures, in media and politics, have also denied being the anonymous author behind "O: A Presidential Novel," which hits bookstores next week.
Given such denials, could the field of likely suspects be narrowing down too much? Simon & Schuster seems to think so.
NBC White House correspondent Chuck Todd tweeted Tuesday that he received an email from the publisher that included the following request: "You may be asked to comment on whether or not you are the author. If so, it would be great if you refrained from commenting."
Todd's not alone. Klein -- who wrote the political novel "Primary Colors" anonymously -- told The Cutline that Simon & Schuster contacted him, too.
It's not clear what prompted the publisher to ask journalists not to comment on a book they have nothing to do with. (A Simon & Schuster representative didn't immediately respond to questions on the matter.)
Simon & Schuster publisher Jonathan Karp, in the email, requested that journalists not comment "in solidarity with the principle that a book should be judged on its content and not on the perceived ideology of its author." Read Karp's full email below:
On January 25, we'll be publishing a secret novel simply titled O, about President Obama's campaign for re-election in 2012. The author of the novel wishes to remain anonymous. You may be asked to comment on whether or not you are the author. If so, it would be great if you refrained from commenting, in solidarity with the principle that a book should be judged on its content and not on the perceived ideology of its author.
The author, an individual with integrity and talent, is someone who has been in the room with Barack Obama and knows the political world intimately. In fact, you may know this person, or know of this person -- if you are not in fact the author yourself.
Thanks in advance for your consideration. I apologize for the impersonality of this blind group email, but this seems like the best way to protect the author's identity. I hope you enjoy the book. It's terrific.
For a sneak preview of O and a special video address from the President of the United States, go to www.othebook.com
Publisher, Simon & Schuster
(Photo of President Obama in an Iowa bookstore last year: AP/Charles Dharapak)
See the original article HERE
Protecting such anonymity is an interesting publicity tactic for S&S. It's also seemingly successful--just check out the book page the publisher has created for the title. Curiosity is certainly on the rise.
It's common for publishers to hold back announcing acquisitions until just before a book goes on sale, but I can't think of another example of one quite this secretive. And I'm not sure it's the best approach. While it has, of course, gotten people discussing the upcoming release, the book still has no real tangibility or credibility sans author. Word of mouth doesn't spread nearly as quickly and effectively with such a huge chunk of information missing. Besides, this kind of hype makes it feel just like that--hype.
I guess I'm just a more classic publicity fan. Tell me what the book's about, who wrote it, and why it's special and perhaps I'll jump on the bandwagon. Keep me in the dark and watch my interest decrease...or disappear altogether.