Bill Gates Sr.’s Book About Charity Sold to Doubleday (Update)

Bill Gates Sr., co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is shopping a book about his life and the virtues of charity, publishing sources say. (Doubleday just issued a press release saying they bought the book; see update below)

The proposal for the book–titled Showing Up For Life–was sent out last Friday by Mr. Gates’ agent, Scott Moyers of the Wylie Agency. According to one top editor who has seen it, the proposal describes the book as "a series of moving, exemplary stories about the virtues of caring, of giving back, of connection."

Several editors and executives who have seen the proposal said it sounded similar to Bill Clinton’s most recent book Giving: How Each Of Us Can Change the World, which was published by Knopf earlier this fall and has generated disappointing sales.

UPDATE: Doubleday has bought the North American rights to the Gates book; the acquiring editor is Roger Scholl. According to the press release, the book will be out in 2009; some of the proceeds will be donated to various charities that Mr. Gates has supported throughout his life (United Way among them).

The press release also explains the book’s title (Showing Up For Life): turns out is a reference to "Bill Gates Senior’s habit for ‘showing up’ wherever people are needed to move an important issue forward."

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