January 27, 2012
Melville House offers rookie first-time kids author biggest deal ever
Melville House announced today that it has offered wannabe children’s book author Stephen Colbert its biggest deal ever for a first book. After hearing Colbert describe his proposed illustrated children’s book, I Am A Pole, And You Can Too—the story of a lost pole that ultimately finds its purpose in life as a flagpole for the U.S. flag-–the company immediately offered the amateur scribe $500.
“That’s far more than we offered our authors Tao Lin and Bernard-Henri Levy, and even Imre Kertesz, and hell, he won the Nobel Prize,” said Melville House editor-in-chief Dennis Johnson. ”But although Colbert is a complete unknown in the children’s book world, he comes with some good blurbs, so we thought what the hell. We don’t know anything about kids’ books either.”
Johnson’s mention that the book already had “good blurbs” was a reference to praise I Am A Pole received during a 2 part conversation between Colbert and the renowned children’s book author Maurice Sendak [see below], wherein Sendak said of Colbert’s proposed book, “The sad thing is, I like it.”
Melville House is also offering a one-time signing bonus to the lucky writer. “We thought we’d take him out for pizza,” said Melville House publisher Valerie Merians. “See if we can loosen him up a little. He looked awful tense talking to a pro like Sendak.”