Books they're trying to pitch

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is reported to have retained the services of Robert Barnett, the Washington lawyer who represented President Obama, Hillary Rodham Clinton and former President Bill Clinton in their multimillion-dollar book deals, to pitch a book of her own.

Presumably Palin will not have any trouble finding a publisher, although she might not find one willing to pay the $11 million she was initially rumored to have been seeking. (Sources close to the Governor have since denied that rumor. It's a figure that seems totally out of the ball park – particularly as Laura Bush just concluded a deal for her memoirs at a little under $2 million.)

But if a Palin book seems likely at one price or another, the book that may not come to be is the one being pitched by Jay McGwire, younger brother of baseball star Mark McGwire. McGwire submitted a 58-page proposal to a number of publishers last week supposedly offering to tell the story of how Jay introduced Mark to performance-enhancing drugs.

But the New York Times reported on Friday that publishers were showing little interest in the book.

Is this a mark of good taste breaking out in the publishing world? Maybe.

William Shinker, the president and publisher of Gotham Books, a division of Penguin Group USA, told the Times that he had passed on the book in part because it would be “a brother ratting out a brother.”

But he also said that he believed readers might simply be fatigued with Mark McGwire’s story.

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