Henry Holt has bought Variety scribbler Nicole LaPorte’s non-fiction DreamWorks book for low six figures based on what I’m told was a very well-written 70-page proposal. Chummy deal. The seller was agent David Kuhn, who used to be an editor at Tina Brown’s Vanity Fair. The buyer was Holt’s executive editor George Hodgman, who used to be the deputy editor at Graydon Carter’s Vanity Fair. Kuhn worked for Rosalie Swedlin when she had her short-lived production shingle at Universal. Hodgman edited VF entertainment articles, including Hollywood issues.
Weirdly, I couldn’t find LaPorte’s deal announced in Variety, where her beat includes DreamWorks. Presumably this is an unauthorized book. (Otherwise, why bother to sacrifice the trees?) Fortunately for her, Holt isn’t owned by a U.S. Big Media company. (Update: It’s owned by big German media company, Holtzbrinck, based in Stuttgart.) Which means it may not cave under mogul pressuring. The big ? in my mind is whether LaPorte has deep enough sources to do more than scratch the surface. Her trade reporting doesn’t begin to break new ground. A DreamWorks book’s gotta have juice. Don’t bother sending me a galley unless that call girl anecdote is in there.
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