CBS-owned Simon & Schuster, publisher of Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Hunter S. Thompson, announced Sunday plans to sell a book about Taylor Swift to be crowd-sourced — that is, written and illustrated — by fans of the pop superstar, designated generational spokeswoman and best girlfriend of many. The publisher was careful to note in the announcement that Swift herself will have no association with the book (or “scrapbook” as S&S suggested it be called). Preorders already are being accepted, with an anticipated publication date of October 24, 2016, the ten-year anniversary of the release of Swift’s first album, Taylor Swift.
(Swift had her own announcement on Sunday, revealing a deal with Apple to offer a concert from her current tour on the AppleMusic streaming site. The concert was filmed two weeks ago in Australia and will be available beginning next Sunday — bringing full circle a relationship that began with Swift’s criticism of Apple for its plan, quickly abandoned, not to pay artists’ royalties during the trial run of AppleMusic.)
The untitled Simon & Schuster book “will be created by fans, for fans. The publisher is inviting fellow Swifties around the country to help produce the book,” according to the announcement. The fan who comes up with the winning title will be paid $2,500. And while the book will reflect the contributions of many, one “honorary author” will be chosen by Simon & Schuster and receive cover credit and $10,000. “At the time of publication, the author will be flown to New York for a press tour, a book signing in Manhattan, potential appearances on major media outlets, and more.” Submissions to swiftfanbook.com open on December 13 and will close one month later, on January 13, 2016.
Once the title and author have been determined and announced, a second contest will ensue for a cover design; that winner will be paid $5,000 payment. Submissions will be accepted from February 1 through March 1.
Simon & Schuster says the book will include work by writers such as Sasha Frere-Jones, Ann Powers, Lizzie Widdicombe, Chuck Klosterman, Jody Rosen and Jada Yuan, who, presumably, won’t have to submit their entries to swiftfanbook.com.
“I’ve loved Taylor Swift’s work from the first song she released in 2006,” S&S senior editor Jofie Ferrari-Adler said in the announcement. “Like many of my favorite artists, she is first and foremost an extraordinary writer, and I can’t wait until she decides to publish her own books. But until that day arrives, I hope that other Swifties around the country will want to get involved and help us make this book a worthy celebration of her first ten years. Think of this project as a very elaborate mash note.”