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Ballantine cancels Paula Deen's upcoming cookbook -- which was already #1 on the Amazon list


I have to admit. This one of all the sponsors surprised me.

Here is a link that contains more information from Publisher's Weekly, including information from Deen's literary agent that she anticipates she'll find a new publisher for the book.

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    1. re: KrumTx

      It's still up on Amazon as of now. Guess that won't last long. That should be a messy pile of contracts to clear up since she had a co-writer.

      1. re: KrumTx

        Oh all of them, this one really surprised me too. Maybe there really is a lot more beneath the surface that they're scared of coming out.

        1. Bad form. Ballantine. Bad form.

          You can print Kathy Griffin?

          1. Some news from companies that still support Deen.


            1. Oh my, the Paula supporters must be beside themselves now. The Facebook pages of all the companies that have severed ties with Paula have been inundated with hate posts swearing not to watch, buy, shop, eat from any company that has kicked their favorite Southern lady.

              I mean really, if you refuse to shop at Walmart, Target, Kmart, Sears, Home Depot and you don't live near a big city, where are you going to spend your money? So they all rushed to order Paula's yet-to-be-published book in support and now THAT is cancelled!

              Tough week for Paula fans. Tough week.

              1. As an African American the n-word didn't really bother me it was the slave themed wedding. Paula WTF?

                4 Replies
                1. re: Chinon00

                  I missed the the slave themed wedding? who does that? I thought even the most unthinking fraternity houses have stoped that sort of thing..

                  1. re: Chinon00

                    Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post made the same observation:


                    He also shot down the "she's from a different generation" crap that defenders have been using as a defense.

                      1. re: tcamp

                        Best line from that piece: "I’ll put it in terms that someone who missed the last 50 years might understand: All black people are uppity now. Every one of us, I’m afraid."

                    1. If this book was scheduled to be released in October, it means it should have been very far along in production and the sales team would already have been out preselling the book for a couple of months at least. I suspect there’s a lot going on here that we don’t know yet. This is just speculation based on more than forty years in the business, but it’s entirely possible that large sellers had begun to cancel orders, Amazon orders notwithstanding. It’s possible that despite the book having been announced, PD’s efforts to complete it were sidelined and it wasn’t going to come out on time anyway. Certainly, her ability to publicize the book, a major consideration in publishing a book such as this, has been severely hampered.

                      I find the comment from Deen’s agent, quoted in Publisher’s Weekly, that "I am sorely disappointed in the behavior of Random House for obvious reasons, and other reasons that will become apparent," especially intriguing. Could she be implying that they plan to bring a breach of contract suit? I wonder if we’ll ever know.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: JoanN

                        Also interesting because her co-writer has been with her a LOOOONG time and has worked with her on almost all of Deen's books even when she was at her other publishing house. The only thing I've heard about her was that her twitter feed was silent on the matter. I haven't gone to look. But I would imagine her past association with Deen's high-selling cookbooks has been pretty profitable for her.

                        1. re: Firegoat

                          Reviewing the list of named writers on Amazon, it looks as though she's gone through quite a few of them. Martha Nesbit was coauthor for many of the early books, Melissa Clark for the most recent (and current) ones, and a handful of others tossed in there as well. Could be that she's difficult to work with. Could be, too, that Melissa Clark has her own reputation to protect and no longer wanted to be associated with Deen either.

                          1. re: JoanN

                            No telling. I don't think we'll ever really know what happened.

                            1. re: Firegoat

                              You're probably right. I doubt we ever will. Won't keep me, though, from pumping friends still in the industry to see what gossip they're hearing. ;-)

                            2. re: JoanN

                              I wondered if Melissa Clark wanted out of the project for that very reason Joan. If that were the case, it may have given RH enough cause to pull the plug on the initiative and seek damages from PD.

                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                That sounds very plausible to me - Melissa Clark is well-known and I doubt she wants to be associated with PD on an upcoming book.

                        2. So, should we throw all of our Paula Deen cookbooks in the trash, along with our Frugal Jeff Smiths?

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                            I love my frugal gourmets. And I've picked up some Deen books and Deen son books at garage sales and I'm not trashing those either. (the Deen son books were not nearly as good as Paulas.... but then again I got Paula and Friends)

                            1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                              I will say that reading through PD's deposition, her personal account of her actions I concluded that we don't share the same values. I've put her cookbooks in the donation pile.

                              1. re: Breadcrumbs

                                You might want to hang on to them. You could probably sell them like Hernandez/OJ Simpson Jerseys the way things are going. Granted she hasn't even been in court yet and hasn't been in court or charged with a criminal complaint.

                                1. re: Firegoat

                                  If I was a PD fan, which I never was, I wouldn't find this kerfluffle to be reason to give away her cookbooks. There have been a lot of famous people whose personal views I detested, but I'm still a fan of their bodies of work. John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart were notorious conservatives, but who doesn't love Jimmy Stewart? Erroll Flynn was a Nazi sympathizer who loved sex with teenage girls, but that doesn't stop me from watching Captain Blood, Dodge City or Robin Hood.

                            2. In an article today on the NYT, they talked about how the fact that Wallmart, K-Mart, and Target have dropped her probably impacted the book deal as a large section of expected sales would have been to those chains. I think that what this really highlights is that while the Paula Deen Facebook pages may be very vocal, compared to how far her corporation used to reach it's not enough.

                              Though I've seen that her book is #1 on Amazon - I've not yet read how many actual orders that is. So as positive as that is at the moment, compared to the loss of the Walmart, Target, K-Mart orders - clearly it's just not enough.

                              1. Funny how her sales just seem to be rising everywhere that hasn't dropped her products (publicity is publicity). Looks like you can no longer order a copy on Amazon, but it remains as one of three of her books now in the top 20 bestsellers...


                                I'm interested to see how and if she recovers after all of this, clearly a large portion of people aren't put off.

                                1. Poor Paula -- a bunch of over-sensitive nitwits ruin everything.

                                  1 Reply