The auction for David Plouffe’s account of the 2008 campaign has ended, and the winner is Viking Books. According to the AP’s Hillel Italie, who first reported news of the deal this morning, the Penguin Group imprint is paying Mr. Plouffe a sum in between $1.5 and $2 million dollars. Robert Barnett, the Washington lawyer who brokered the deal, told the AP in an interview that Viking beat out 16 other imprints for the privilege of publishing Mr. Plouffe’s book.
It would be a big victory for Viking president Clare Ferraro in any context, but the fact of the imprint’s recent acquisition record—since last fall, at least three other major books have landed there—makes it even more breathtaking. Just last week, the editorial director of Viking’s fiction list, Molly Stern, defeated a number of other houses for the rights to Danielle Trussoni’s Angelology, a purchase that numerous sources said was in the neighborhood of $800,000. Before that, Wendy Wolf won Lynn Cheney’s book about James Madison, and before that Rick Kot picked up Andrew Ross Sorkin’s $700,000 book on the financial crisis.
There are probably more books that belong on that list, but even if there aren’t, it’s still a formidable haul, and one that says as much about Viking’s health—and Penguin’s—as it does about all the houses they’re beating.