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View Full Version : Former Mayor Nagin's KATRINA'S SECRETS



aadams73
06-21-2011, 08:44 PM
I think this fits better here because I'm more interested in the publishing side of this.

Anyway.

Former mayor of NOLA, Ray Nagin has a book out (http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2011/06/former_new_orleans_mayor_ray_n_7.html). Who knew, right? Not me, and I'm always interested in publishing news. The intriguing part--to me at least--is that his book is published through Amazon via Createspace.

So does anyone want to speculate why? Is there some juicy publishing gossip here that I've missed? Given that he's apparently written all kinds of not-so-flattering things about a bunch of people involved in the Hurricane Katrina aftermath, you'd think a good publisher would be all over this.

Last night on The Daily Show (http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-june-20-2011/ray-nagin), Nagin mentioned he'd spoken to a couple of agents and he wasn't "comfortable that his voice would come through," so he chose to self-publish.

Does anyone else smell golden word syndrome? Or did he play fast and loose with the truth? Or is his writing just so bad that no one will touch it? (He wrote this himself--no ghost.)

Speculation is welcome here. As is any real or made-up gossip. :D

Phaeal
06-21-2011, 10:13 PM
Sounds like terminal golden word syndrome to me. Also, given our short attention spans, Katrina's already far enough in the past for agents and publishers not to bother with a real prima donna author.

Plus, if he gets slanderous enough, publishers' legal departments might not want to deal with his book. ;)

Libbie
06-21-2011, 10:51 PM
Something smells suspiciously golden to me.

rugcat
06-21-2011, 11:12 PM
It's also possible no publisher offered him the advance he was hoping for.

So maybe he figured he could sell a ton of ebooks based on name recognition alone, not to mention the boost from appearing on venues like the Daily Show.

And self pubbed ebooks give a much larger pie slice to the author, as we all know.

He may be right. People don't buy books like this for the quality of the writing -- they buy on the basis of who wrote them and what inside info might be revealed.

Wayne K
06-21-2011, 11:14 PM
Maybe golden word syndrome. Or maybe the agents and publishers want him to take too much out. I called it, "Lies of omission' to my former agent

Medievalist
06-21-2011, 11:15 PM
Or maybe they didn't want to be sued.

quicklime
06-21-2011, 11:19 PM
i'm leaning towards golden words or liability issues as the primary suspects.....

MJNL
06-22-2011, 12:06 AM
Wait, is this the guy who didn't realize that he had to request aid from the national guard in order to legally receive it? I wonder if he includes any critisism of his own actions in the shocking tell all...hmm...

dpaterso
06-22-2011, 12:15 AM
The book description (http://www.amazon.com/Katrinas-Secrets-Storms-After-Storm/dp/146095971X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1308687168&sr=8-1) on Amazon sounds like movie material!

-Derek

amrose
06-22-2011, 12:20 AM
Nagin was also a pretty hard core businessman (if I'm remembering correctly). He might have felt he could scoop up more profit if he kept everything on his end. Plus, I doubt he'd like anyone suggesting changes to his work.

I used to work in a small political pr firm in the GNOA and most everything a politician hears from his/her people is nothing but positive or if something is legitimately negative, the creative team's job is to create the positive spin.

I didn't work on the spin end, but I was present for the process sometimes.

jeffo20
06-22-2011, 02:39 AM
The book description (http://www.amazon.com/Katrinas-Secrets-Storms-After-Storm/dp/146095971X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1308687168&sr=8-1) on Amazon sounds like movie material!

-Derek
Yowza!

I get a kick out of the 'customer discussion' post titled: 'Pop up or coloring?' Tough crowd!

IceCreamEmpress
06-22-2011, 04:40 AM
A lot of people who come to writing from business or politics feel like they can make more money self-publishing than working with a publisher. A lot of people who come to writing from business or politics are resistant to being told to make changes by an editor.

They are almost always wrong, but there it is.

profen4
06-22-2011, 06:49 AM
On the Daily Show it seemed like he portrayed himself as having responded appropriately to Katrina - like he was passing the blame on others. I suspect publishers would have wanted a more accurate account.

The best was when he said he now works as a disaster consultant and Jon Stewart asked him if he also consults on hair care (he's bald).

ResearchGuy
06-22-2011, 07:04 AM
. . . So maybe he figured he could sell a ton of ebooks based on name recognition alone. . . .
Then he better get it into the Kindle store. Not there as of a minute ago, or I would have bought the ebook. (Not going to bother with printed edition.)

--Ken

mscelina
06-22-2011, 07:06 AM
Because he figures Oprah will see through someone publishing fiction as a memoir by this point.

aadams73
06-24-2011, 06:47 PM
Nagin was also a pretty hard core businessman (if I'm remembering correctly). He might have felt he could scoop up more profit if he kept everything on his end.



A lot of people who come to writing from business or politics feel like they can make more money self-publishing than working with a publisher.


No doubt you're both right.

What also strikes me as odd is the timing. It seems like a Katrina anniversary would be a more fruitful time to release a book like this. Katrina would be on the news and on people's minds again. Someone truly business savvy would know that--you'd think.


On the Daily Show it seemed like he portrayed himself as having responded appropriately to Katrina - like he was passing the blame on others. I suspect publishers would have wanted a more accurate account.


Yes, the whole Katrina thing was such a mess, but I definitely remember an event or two where Nagin did this or said that and I thought, "What planet is he ON?"

His memory is conveniently selective.

Although really, whose isn't at times? :D


Because he figures Oprah will see through someone publishing fiction as a memoir by this point.

So true!

Overall, he reminds me of some* of the other people who self-pub because they want instant gratification without real and helpful criticism of their precious literary offspring.

Basically it fits with my previous opinion of the guy.


*Please note I said "some." I know not all people who choose to self-publish suffer from the same maladies.