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'If I Did It' lands at Beaufort

August 16, 2007|Scott Timberg | Times Staff Writer

OJ. SIMPSON'S ghost-written book "If I Did It" has found a home at a small New York publisher that plans to bring it out on Oct. 3.

The book, which recounts in hypothetical terms the 1994 murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman, will be published by Beaufort Books. Because the Goldman family now owns the rights, profits will go to the family, to the book's publisher and agent, and to the Ron Goldman Foundation for Justice.

Eric Kampmann, president of Beaufort, said he was drawn to the project by the "advocacy" approach of Sharlene Martin, the Los Angeles-based agent who brokered the deal.

Though Beaufort often operates as a joint-venture publisher -- a cross between a commercial publishing house and a vanity press, with authors sharing in costs -- it will be operating like a traditional publisher for the Simpson book.

Neither party would disclose how much was paid. The book will be packaged with a roughly 5,000-word introduction by the Goldman family explaining their reasons for publishing the book -- "their journey," according to Martin -- as well as almost 10,000 words by other contributors. The original title may not be used.

"I don't know what the commercial possibilities for it are," Kampmann conceded. "We hope the book will be given a fair chance."

Many mainstream publishers have said that they were repulsed by the project, even with the Goldmans' involvement.

Part of what made Beaufort the right choice, Martin said, is their ability to bring the book out in less than two months. Some are not convinced the book should be published, including Denise Brown, sister of Simpson's slain wife Nicole. A tearful Brown appeared on the "Today" show on Wednesday and attacked Kampmann and Beaufort for ignoring the effect the book will have on Simpson's children.

"I certainly understand why Denise Brown feels the way she does," Martin said. "But I'd feel a lot more comfortable if she read the book.."

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