It will be a prime ministerial memoir “like no other.”
This was the promise made by HarperCollins this afternoon as it announced plans to publish Boris Johnson’s book detailing his turbulent time in Downing Street.
“I look forward to working with Boris Johnson as he writes his account of his time in office during some of the most momentous events the United Kingdom has seen in recent times,” said Arabella Pike, publishing director at HarperCollins’ subsidiary, William Collins.
No date has yet been set for the memoir’s release and speculation is swirling about how much HarperCollins has paid for the rights.
While a memoir is a guaranteed money-spinner for a former PM, deals have certainly varied. Sir Tony Blair was reportedly paid a hefty £5m in 2007 for his political memoir A Journey, while David Cameron is thought to have earned £1.5m for his memoir, For The Record.
Mind you, Cameron – who struggled to flog his book – can perhaps count himself lucky he bagged that much. Pre-orders of his autobiography were slow and, at the 2019 Tory conference bookstall, his book was being sold on a “reduced by 20%” stand. Ouch.
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Of course, a tell-all memoir isn’t every former leader’s cup of tea. Theresa May has insisted she isn’t rushing to write one. In fact, she has said she would be more inclined to write a novel based on the ill-fated 19th century ascent of the Matterhorn. Niche. And as for Liz Truss, good luck finding a publisher…
Yet few will be surprised that egomaniac Boris is keen to take the plunge. Aside from fitting with his perennial desire to stay in the limelight, the former journalist has also already penned several books throughout his career, including a biography of his old hero, Winston Churchill.
Just how juicy can we really expect Johnson’s next work to be? Will it be laced with confessions of wild lockdown parties or – if he simply uses it as a means to further his ambition to return to frontline politics – will it just be endless brags about “getting Brexit done” and a series of swipes at his ex-pal Sunak?
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