Fresh on the heels of massive book deals scored by former Vice President Joe Biden and ex-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, Flatiron Books announced Wednesday it had acquired James Comey’s upcoming memoir. According to the Associated Press, the Macmillan division said the ousted FBI director “is writing a book about leadership and decision making that will draw upon his career in government.” The book will feature “examples from some of the highest-stakes situations in the past two decades of American government,” including the Trump-Russia probe, but won’t emphasize the latter exclusively.
Per the Wall Street Journal, the price tag Flatiron and Comey ultimately agreed is respectable, though significantly less than many were speculating when rumors of a book first popped up following the ex-director’s firing and subsequent congressional testimony:
[P]ublishing executives who were involved in the recent auction for Mr. Comey’s book estimate that it sold in the range of $2.5 million — not an insignificant sum, but a ways off from the speculation that the book could attract an eight-figure advance.
The Journal goes on to suggest the deal’s price stems from the book proposal itself, which reportedly “positioned [it] as a leadership title with some memoir-like aspects” instead of a dramatized nonfiction account of Comey’s brief tenure with President Donald Trump’s administration. Even so, Flatiron Publisher and President Bob Miller told the AP that Comey’s “book promises to take us inside those extraordinary moments in our history, showing us how these leaders have behaved under pressure.” As a result, the ex-director “will give us unprecedented entry into the corridors of power, and a remarkable lesson in leadership itself.”
Slated for publication in 2018, the book will undoubtedly inform the inevitable Frost/Nixon-esque film adaptation of the Comey’s bouts with Trump. Armie Hammer better get on Flatiron’s good side for an advanced copy.