A week has passed since the auction for Karl Rove’s memoirs drew to a close last Wednesday afternoon, but the former White House adviser still hasn’t decided which house is best suited to publish it.
The Observer has learned that both of the publishers still in the running are imprints of Simon & Schuster.
One of them is Free Press, once a fiercely conservative shop that now specializes in general narrative nonfiction, and the other, as previously reported, is G.O.P. strategist Mary Matalin’s Threshold Editions, the conservative-minded imprint of Simon & Schuster’s Pocket Books division.
Free Press publisher Martha Levin declined to comment, as did Simon & Schuster corporate spokesman Adam Rothberg and Pocket Books’ publicity director, Jean Anne Rose.
Why is Mr. Rove taking so long to decide? Though some have speculated that he’s holding out for a bigger advance than publishers have offered so far, money is almost certainly not an object at this point, since, according to Simon & Schuster company policy, both Free Press and Threshold would have submitted their offers for the book together, in a house bid.
This means that Free Press and Threshold essentially held hands throughout the auction process and never bid against each other at any point, and now that they’re the only two interested parties remaining, the subject of money is unlikely to be up for discussion.
Rather, Mr. Rove and his representative, D.C. lawyer Robert Barnett (who declined to comment for this story), have to decide based on other, perhaps less quantifiable factors, whether Free Press or Threshold would be a better fit for Mr. Rove.
Through an assistant, Threshold publisher Louise Burke told The Observer this afternoon that she expects to hear a decision from Mr. Rove by the end of the week.