Earlier today Media Mob reported that political polling expert Nate Silver, the wunderkind statistician behind the Web site FiveThirtyEight.com, was out with a proposal for two books: one about the art of prediction and the other a Freakonomics-style guide to the mechanics of electoral politics. Mr. Silver’s agent, Sydelle Kramer of the Susan Rabiner Agency, told publishers she wanted indications of interest by Tuesday, but evidently the indications came faster than expected (so much for the art of prediction) and Ms. Kramer decided to just hold an auction today.
According to several sources, that auction has ended, and Penguin Group USA has prevailed.
Which of Penguin’s imprint will publish Mr. Silver has not yet been determined, however, as there are at least three within the company that are jockeying for the privilege. The pricetag, we hear, is above $600,000 but below $1 million—a healthy sum even though it’s paying for two books rather than just one. Update, 5:00 p.m.: New intelligence says Mr. Silver’s advance is in the neighborhood of $700,000, give or take a few grand.
Now Mr. Silver just has to choose which imprint he likes best, a process that is unlikely to be resolved before next week.
Penguin Group’s corporate publicists Marilyn Ducksworth and Dave Zimmer did not immediately respond to requests for more details.