This post is also available in: العربية
Qassim Al So’oudi
Beirut-based All Prints is to publish the Arabic edition of Michael Wolff’s controversial exposé of President Trump, Fire and Fury – Inside the Trump White House, but is not revealing its publication date because of “piracy issues”.
All Prints marketing director Azza Tawil said: “We will be publishing as soon as possible, but we’re not disclosing the publication date because of piracy issues. We have already started the translation process, with several of our best translators working on delivering a faithful and beautiful translation.
“We are expecting high demand in the Arab World as the book has a lot to do with Arab countries and matters to people here in this time of constant turmoil. We will also publish a digital edition and will aim for an audiobook too. Our initial print run is expected to be more than 5,000.”
Wolff’s book continues to make headlines around the world, with many noting that the President’s actions in seeking to have the book banned have only served to increase its sales. US publisher Henry Holt, part of the Macmillan group, now has 1.4m copies in print and the title has been topping all three charts on Amazon: print, ebook and audio.
More than 20 foreign rights deals have been concluded by Wolff’s agent, Andrew Wylie of the Wylie Agency, including Japan, Brazil, Turkey and Italy. Further deals are being discussed for what is one of the biggest political books since All the President’s Men, Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward’s account of the Watergate break-in in 1974.
President Trump’s move to take legal action against Holt has been roundly condemned by the international publishing community. In Geneva, Switzerland, the International Publishers Association pledged its “full support behind US publisher Macmillan and its CEO John Sargent for its firm stand in the face of pressure from United States President Donald Trump to halt publication of Fire and Fury. The IPA sees Trump’s attempt to stop publication of Wolff’s book as a new and worrying development for the USA, a longstanding bastion of freedom of expression”.
The IPA’s Secretary General, José Borghino, also observed: “It is a sad irony to see the so-called leader of the free world trying to limit freedom to publish”.
In the US, the Authors Guild issued the following statement: “To the Guild’s knowledge, no prior president has sued a writer for libel, and for good reason. The ability to criticize the government and its leaders lies at the essence of the First Amendment’s protection of free speech; and threats of libel lawsuits are one of the de facto primary means of curtailing free speech in this country today… It is one thing for a private citizen to use libel laws to quash speech. It is unheard of for a sitting president to do so.”
All of which is being watched by All Prints – and other publishers around the globe – as they prepare to publish their own editions of what will be one of 2018’s most talked about books.