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Publishers will not ordinarily touch a book that has already been written. They want a book proposal, usually the shorter the better. Some require a sample chapter. Some will reject anything that includes a sample chapter. You canít even get a book reviewed in its finished form. All of the big reviewers require an uncorrected printerís proof.
You canít know how to approach a publisher unless you have an agent who has done business with that publisher. A rejection slip is good because it means that somebody actually read your proposal and found it worthy of pursuing but for one reason or another they canít publish it. Itís usually because it doesnít quite fit their market niche, the timing is wrong or the up-front costs are too high to justify the expected return on investment. Although the authorís share of a book is only 7 percent, he or she makes no financial investment and takes no financial risks, plus authors get a sizeable advance.
Fuhrman could have made millions from Murder in Brentwood while Regnery could have lost his shirt. Thatís where I had trouble with some of the fuzzy timelines and other information we gleaned in our research like the story of Regnery introducing Fuhrman to Goldberg then dropping him while Murder in Brentwood was still a bestseller.
According to Moldea, REGNERY SOUGHT OUT FUHRMAN after Fuhrmanís book proposal for Murder in Brentwood had been turned down by a dozen big publishers (New York). It made zero economic sense for Regnery to hook Fuhrman up with a high-powered independent literary agent then to cut Fuhrman loose after his huge investment in rebuilding Fuhrmanís image for the mass marketing of Murder in Brentwood. If that agent were already working for Regnery as a publicist (which is what I found when I did my first search in í98) that inconsistency goes away. But in my most recent searches I could not find a single reference to Goldberg specifically as Regneryís publicist.
Moldea may have answered all of my questions. According to him Goldberg first made contact with Alfred Regneryís father Henry in the early í80s to do a book on the Edward Kennedy Chappaquidick scandal. Regnery hired him to do a Foster book after his company turned down a proposal from Fuhrman that was submitted by Lucianne Goldberg in October í96. This was after Regnery turned down Trippís proposal. HBO says that happened in May. Regnery turned down Fuhrmanís proposal because he wasnít a White House insider (and therefore harder to promote for that kind of book).
Regnery had first dibs on Fuhrmanís next book. By rejecting the Foster proposal Fuhrman was technically free of his legal obligation to sign with Regnery for Murder in Greenwich. Goldberg approached Dominick Dunne about that book early in í97. She got Fuhrman a much bigger advance with Harper-Collins than he could have gotten with Regnery. That left Regnery out in the cold and the success of Murder in Greenwich gave Fuhrman the ďgreat detectiveĒ status he needed to do any book he wanted. It also gave him the money to try his hand at movie producing with a few like-minded backers.
Look for the Foster book soon, followed shortly by the movie. --Jasper