Paula Deen has lost her publisher. The celebrity chef, who's been suffering from a raft of bad press, has had her contract with Random House canceled. On Friday, Random House issued a brief statement about dropping Paula Deen’s New Testament: 250 Favorite Recipes, All Lightened Up, which was to be be published by Ballantine Books in October. By the end of the weekend the multi-book deal Deen signed with the house, in January 2012, was off.
On Friday Random House said the decision to cancel New Testament came "after careful consideration." As of June 25, the publisher was going ahead with the book, and said it was monitoring the situation. While Target and Wal-Mart had not mentioned the book specifically, both chains announced earlier in the week that they were cutting ties with Deen. Before the RH announcement Friday, both Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million were planning to carry the title, and it was #1 at Amazon, where it has been available for pre-order.
Deen, who has drawn heat for racist comments she made in a deposition, signed a her deal with RH in January 2012, after publishing her previous books with Simon & Schuster. Deen was under contract for one more cookbook and three original e-books at Random Hosue, but the publisher confirmed that those books have also been canceled. When asked what will happen to the advance Deen recevied from the publisher, which was rumored to be in the millions, Deen's literary agent, Janis Donnaud, said she was unable to "comment further." On the same subject, Random House spokesman Stuart Applebaum said: "We never comment about our past, present, or future author contracts."
But Donnaud is confident that Paula Deen’s New Testament will find a new publisher...and soon. While she was unable to discuss specifics, she pointed to the book's high ranking on Amazon and said "we have gotten reachouts from other major customers in the book industry today offering support." Speaking to the situation at large, Donnaud said: "I am sorely disappointed in the behavior of Random House for obvious reasons, and other reasons that will become apparent."
As of the morning of July 1, Paula Deen's Southern Cooking Bible (Simon & Schuster) was the #1 book on Amazon.