Former editor-in-chief of Reader’s Digest Jackie Leo and Williams College math professor Edward Burger are teaming up to write a book about the history of the number ‘7’ for Twelve Books, an imprint of Hachette Book Group USA started in 2005 that defines itself by its small list of titles and selectivity.
Twelve’s founder and publisher Jonathan Karp acquired the book in a preempt after literary agents Carol Mann and Laura Yorke submitted the proposal to editors around town last week. The book is called simply Seven, so take care not to confuse it with Peter Golenbock’s widely-maligned Mickey Mantle book of the same name, which stirred controversy in 2006 when critics denounced its author and acquiring publisher Judith Regan as smut-peddlers.
According to an announcement, Mr. Burger and Ms. Leo—who is currently a senior business advisor at a website devoted to helping authors use the internet to create and distribute audiovisual content—will “describe the power of the number 7, its history, and its uses as a tool to define time, synthesize ideas, and keep one’s mind and memory performing at top speed.” It also promises to help readers “use 7 to simplify their lives while delving into its very special mathematical, scientific and religious significance.”
The book is scheduled to come out in 2009.
Mr. Karp declined to comment on how much he was paying for it.