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WORD: O.J.’s ‘If I Did It’ gets second life on judge's ruling, publishers ready auction

Publishers, start your engines -- and get your pocketbooks ready. Just four months after HarperCollins put O.J. Simpson’s book ‘If I Did It’ on the chopping block along with Judith Regan’s head, a judge reportedly ordered that its rights must be sold at auction to help satisfy a civil judgment against the alleged killer.

It’s not immediately known who would handle the auction, since a manuscript doesn’t exactly auction itself, but either way the title could end up at your local Barnes & Nobles quicker than anyone had expected. We can’t wait to hear which literary agent brokers the deal, which publishers bid on the manuscript, who buys it, and at what price.

‘If I Did It’ is O.J.'s account of how he might have killed ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman that was initially approved by Rupert Murdoch, head of HarperCollins’ parent company News Corp, but later canceled during public outcry about the book. But like a zombie that won't die, outside publisher interest is likely to fuel a seven-figure deal that would keep the media tycoon from killing the project.
That's because Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Gerald Rosenberg's decision came at the request of Ron Goldman's father, Fred Goldman, who ironically could end up being responsible for putting the manuscript into bookstores, according to Reuters.

Naturally, the market participants in an auction for this manuscript will want to keep their involvement quiet, but that’s not likely going to happen in today’s Internet-driven media landscape.

‘If I Did It’ is potentially the second of two canceled books brokered by former publisher Judith Regan that could now see print. The second book, 7: The Mickey Mantle Novel, has already been sold to Globe Pequot Press imprint Lyons Press and is slated for publication on April 3. Regan was fired and saw her HarperCollins imprint, ReganBooks, dissolved.


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