A Michael Moore Publicity Stunt?

So there’s a mysterious publicity stunt that was announced over at Galleycat. Apparently, a book that will have an initial print run of 300,000, categorized as “Biography & Autobiography” and “Childhood Memoir” will be revealed on August 10. The book will be published under the William Morrow imprint and will be “a shattering, provocative and mesmerizing true story.” The ISBN number is 0061138959, but alas, there is no trace in this ISBN directory or this one. There’s nothing in the Library of Congress either.

There are a few things to consider here. The book is timed around the fifth anniversary of September 11 and it will come out just before the November midterm elections. This suggests to me that the book will be political, likely leftist, in nature.

Bill Clinton and Al Gore, the two most likely politicians to have this kind of pull, aren’t HarperCollins authors. Neither is Al Franken. Barack Obama has already written a memoir.

But Michael Moore is a HarperCollins author. And I have a feeling he might be the mysterious author here. Think abuot it. Moore hasn’t done anything since Fahrenheit 9/11 and has been trying to figure out a way to damage Republicans since the 2004 election. Consider his statement back on November 5, 2004, whereby he noted that “we’ll need the element of surprise in 2008.” In fact, on April 16, 2005, he solicited his fan base for ideas on “what our next move should be.” In other words, Moore has been stewing over this question for quite a while. And given that a book’s production cycle is about a year and a half to two years, it is possible that he came upon the idea shortly after his solicitation and pitched it to HarperCollins.

Stupid White Men was a Regan Books release and went on to sell 481,343 copies. Those kind of sales would justify a 300,000 print run. In fact, Stupid White Men shares the publisher identifier number in the ISBN number that was released. The mysterious book’s ISBN is 0-06-113895-9.

Stupid White Men‘s ISBN: 0060392452. (The same publisher identifier: 06)

The Harper Paperbacks edition of Downsize This: 0060977337.

So why put a populist like Michael Moore on its distinguished William Morrow imprint? Answer: They know that Moore’s books will sell like hotcakes. Let’s not forget the big flap over Stupid White Men, where Moore was asked to tone down a few sections of the book. And given Moore’s history of temper tantrums, I suspect that HarperCollins’ top brass decided to play to Moore’s ego by making this surprise announcement.

Is this an attack piece on George Bush’s childhood?

I will put in some phone calls into HarperCollins to see if they confirm or deny that the book in question is Moore, as well as look into getting more info on the ISBN number.

In the meantime, perhaps someone with a Books in Print account might want to look at the ISBN number.

[UPDATE: It’s not Moore.]


  1. Baker & Taylor’s Titlesource (ordering site) just says “Title to Be Revealed” for that ISBN.

  2. I work at a local bookstore, and this book is already subject coded into our “British History” section. Which leads me to believe that it could have anything to do with Princess Di to Princess Caroline-

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