The publishing industry can be a fickle enterprise, as the time to roll out a new edition can entail many changes, especially when the topic of note is so deeply rooted in current events. It was only yesterday when the announcement was made that a book was set to be released featuring the figurehead of the pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci, entitled “Expect The Unexpected”– an unintentionally ironic description of the man infamous for contradicting himself repeatedly.
And it appears the publisher of his book is now scrambling to avoid trouble. Over at Amazon, where yesterday they had been enthusiastically pimping the release for this coming November, the title is nowhere to be found.
The page that had been active for the presale is now stripped, and clicking on it today will deliver any number of cute dog pics.
This is being announced by National Geographic Books, the publisher as well as the production outfit of an announced documentary on the doctor, as having been a premature announcement. This is, to put it politely, an amusing serving of PR spin. To put it impolitely, it is garbage excuse-making. Clearly there either was a case of conflicting information in the book, when balanced against the details in the communications, or there was an effort at purely burnishing Dr. Fauci’s image and the hard facts coming to light are in conflict with that attempt — and probably both.
You also see the excuse-making in the announcement today from the publisher. Clearly, there is a response to the backlash heard yesterday about how unseemly it appeared that Fauci would be profiting off of the pandemic. According to National Geographic Books’ spin doctors, “He will not earn any royalties from its publication.” That could be a cagey way of explaining things, as it does not indicate whether he has been paid an advance.
The conflicting data that has been coming to light, and the way this is reflecting on the celebrity doctor, is certainly becoming a case of horrible timing for National Geographic Books, and parent company Disney. The then-president of the company, Bob Iger, was seen in some of those emails raving about the development of the documentary surrounding Fauci.