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All Things Possible

November 14, 2014

A new reader who happens to be an established figure in NYC sent along her observations of Andrew Cuomo’s new book, “All Things Possible.” We really enjoyed what she had to say. With thanks to her (and also apologies) we have reformatted her note to us thusly:

Friend: It’s actually not a bad book. There’s a compelling account of how the gay marriage bill came about. There are Breslin-esque evocations life in Queens. There’s a scope and arc to it.

NT2: Why, if it’s decent, isn’t it doing better in terms of sales?

Friend: The basic problem is that that there’s no news in it. There’s no dish about Mario or the Kennedys. There are no new revelations or really surprising reflections from Andrew.

NT2: Some people who have read it, including some reporters we respect, have said that it’s surprisingly candid and they give Cuomo credit for that. We picked it up in the book store and perused it. It didn’t strike us as revealing at all. For example, he writes about his “complete surprise” at Spitzer’s downfall. If he was really being candid he would have said: “I was so fucking glad when Spitzer fell on his face. My father would have felt the same way, but he would gone to church and prayed for forgiveness for having such thoughts. I have no such qualms. I hated Spitzer then and I hate him now.”

Friend: Well, uh, no, there isn’t that kind of candor in the book. It’s reflective, but it’s not soul baring. My larger point, though, is that there isn’t a lot to market. There’s no sensationalism. There isn’t even a substantive teaser of a presidential campaign.

NT2: You’d think the publisher would have insisted on something, no?

Friend: You can bet HarperCollins wanted that and more. And it would have driven sales and media in New York and nationally. But there’s nothing. “ATP” is essentially a book about New York politics. It’s filled with pages and pages of names that mean nothing to anyone except maybe NT2 readers.

NT2: So what happened?

Friend: Cuomo doesn’t appear to have thought strategically enough about this book or its launch. In this regard, one big question that should have been thought through is: Who is this book pitched to?

For a public official who professes to be so influenced by women, Andrew the author hardly gives them a speaking role in his tome. Readers, especially female ones, might have enjoyed hearing more about the mother of his children or FLONY.

NT2: FLONY’s novel — “a heartwarming story of food, family and forgiveness” —  includes a love scene with the character that fits Andrew’s description. Is there any sex in this book?

Friend: Eek. Eww. No.

NT2: Just kidding. Back to the marketing, what might have been done differently?

Friend: It was really bad timing to dump it on the eve of the election. The state and national spotlight was anywhere but New York.

Of course, now that he has time, Andrew could try to sell “ATP” as a book about life’s lessons, but that would entail a lot of sitting on couches baring his soul with TV females like the ladies from The View.

NT2: That would be something to see.

Friend: Indeed. It’s not going to happen though. Cuomo probably wants to move on from the raft of stories about its weak performance and nasty set of Internet trolls. That only reinforces the notion that AC is, despite reelection, unpopular.

NT2: What happens if this is a real bust?

Friend: You mean if HarperCollins decides it has to pulp 150K copies? Well, it’s good luck selling another book.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    November 17, 2014 9:28 AM

    With respect to your article about the dark prince’s book, I thought you were insiders, who know the back story.

    Must I remind you of the disagreement between Fred Dicker and the dark prince over gun control, and rimind you that Fred Dicker was going to write a biography of the dark prince but after the gun conroll issue, the the publisher of the Dicker book decided to drop Fred Dicker and instead hired the dark prince, with what we know was a approximately $180K advance – who knows how much the full payment will be.

    I have to assume that you are aware that the publishing firm is HarperCollins and that HarperCollins is owned by News Corp, which is headed by Rupert Murdoch.

    Looks like a political deal to me – perhaps you should look into this back story and show us that you are not flacks for the dark prince.

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