Like a lot of people, we got pretty excited when we saw quotes from former bodybuilder Jay McGwire, and heard whispers about the possibility of a tell-all book. After all, who wouldn’t be excited about a tome from a man who looks like a dead-ringer for the Gold’s Gym logo? It never hurt that there were quotes about his brother Mark’s steroid use in there, which sure seemed to make the book a ready-packaged winner at Barnes & Nobles. Well, evidently we were in the minority, because all the publishers who have seen Jay McGwire’s 58-page proposal have passed on it … rapidly.
In a story printed in today’s NEW YORK TIMES, executive editors, publishers and presidents of HarperCollins, Gotham Books and Penguin Group USA (via Gotham), all said they had serious doubts about the younger McGwire’s claims … and that even if they didn’t, they wondered if the concept would sell anyway:
“There are so many things about it that I find suspect,” said HarperCollins executive editor David Hirshey. “If Jay McGwire is to be believed, he says he is setting the record straight out of quote love unquote for his brother, although a cynic might say it’s out of love for a big payday.”
Hmmm, looking for a payday? A bodybuilder ratting out steroids cheats? Where have we heard this before. Oh yeah! That Kirk Radomski guy! Evidently that’s an issue with sale-ability, too, as book buyers were all to happy to inform THE TIMES.
Here’s what one independent book buyer had to say about a potential McGwire bros. tell all:
“The whole steroid thing has been done,” said Frank Sanchez, the head buyer at Kepler’s Books and Magazines, an independent bookstore in Menlo Park, Calif. “There have been so many articles in local papers and magazines, so people feel like they’ve already read about that and they just don’t care anymore.”
Or, perhaps more accurately, if they do care, they’re not willing to commit hard-earned dollars to read about one brother throwing his sibling under the bus. Here’s what a sports buyer for Barnes & Noble said about buying copies of a McGwire book. And keep in mind, this buyer was more optimistic than any of the others interviewed.
“If somebody was to present it to me, I would take a close look,” Lisa Echenthal, a sports buyer for Barnes & Noble, said. “As of now, I’m not picturing something that would get me that enthused.”
Suddenly, neither are we. Not because we’re disappointed in what Jay McGwire would have been able to dish out, just because it seems like there’s no way this book is ever going to get a green light. Now we’ll all just have to hold out hope of a TMZ road trip to get guerrilla video of the next McGwire family picnic. Now that would be worth checking out.