Hi, it’s not her — that’s the problem, it’s not her. Some yet-to-be-revealed celebrity is releasing a book in July that the publisher is promising will be a blockbuster. But Variety can report for certain that this mystery author is not, as rumored, Taylor Swift.
Whoever the famous person or people are that are behind the book, they have a momentary bestseller on multiple book sales sites, based on the rampant speculation. The mystery book from the Flatiron imprint is available for pre-order at $45, despite not having a known title or author. And, as a result of the Swift rumors, what is officially known only as “4C Untitled Flatiron Nonfiction Summer 2023” has been hovering in the top 10 of the Amazon book sales chart, rising as high as No. 2 and sitting as of this writing at No. 8. On the Barnes & Noble website, the anonymous book currently ranks No. 1 on that retailer’s pre-orders chart.
Anyone who pre-ordered the title-less title on Amazon believing it was the pop superstar can go ahead and cancel that order now; Swift does not have a book in the offing, it can be authoritatively said.
It is not difficult to see why many Swifties came to the conclusion the book is hers, based on some vague descriptions reportedly issued to booksellers by the publisher and — perhaps more significantly — some “clues” that seemed to point to Swift, in an apparent case of coincidental misdirection that would seem to rival the “Paul is dead” rumors of 1970.
A document widely circulated on social media that was said to come from Flatiron says that the title and author will be revealed on June 13… with 13, as any student of pop culture knows, being Swift’s oft-stated lucky number.
The page count for the book is 544… and 5 + 4 + 4 = 13. The Easter eggs could hardly be any clearer, right?
Only clearer, maybe, if the actual release date for the book was July 9… which it is. Anyone who has been following the release news for Swift’s next album, “Speak Now (Taylor’s Version),” coming out July 7, knows that she just mentioned its proximity to July 9 in her social media statement announcing the album, letting fans know that she had not forgotten how large the latter date looms in Swift lore. That calendar date is actually mentioned in the “Speak Now” track “Last Kiss” (supposedly referring to a date way back in 2010 when she flew out to meet up with Joe Jonas, a short-lived beau).
The theory only became more palpable in some fans’ minds when the phrase “dear reader” was used in her announcement for “Speak Now,” although it more obviously alludes to the title of a bonus track from her most recent album, not a claim to impending literary authorship.
Yet all these things are apparent coincidences, as she is not gearing up to release a memoir almost simultaneously with her next album and smack in the middle of a national stadium tour, which might count as an excessive exercise in synergy even for someone as capable of project-multitasking as a Taylor Swift.
So who is the mystery author? A screen shot of an unconfirmed pitch that was said to have gone out from a sales rep on Edelweiss says that a million copies will be printed, and that sellers will have to sign an affadavit before receiving copies in advance of the on-sale date. “This is not a political book, it is a fun, celebratory title and will skew slightly younger, but is for people of all ages. This has global appeal and will have massive publicity. I would comp this to Flatiron’s Matthew Perry memoir… and a little bit to ‘Spare’ by Prince Harry.”
If that information is accurate, it’s hard to think of many celebs who would justify a million-copy pressing. Britney Spears’ supposed “tell-all” is far from the “fun, celebratory” book promised in the sales rep description, and that one is already earmarked for a rival publisher, anyway, so she’s out. Speculation in the literary world has been running toward BTS, with one book-related gossip account claiming they’ve privately confirmed that.
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