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Summary:

Glenn Beck has long endorsed novels, particularly thrillers, on his Fox News show; he’s the author of seven bestselling books; and his news…

Mercury Ink
photo: Mercury Ink

Glenn Beck has long endorsed novels, particularly thrillers, on his Fox News show; he’s the author of seven bestselling books; and his news and opinion website, The Blaze, covers books occasionally.

Now, as Beck prepares to leave Fox, he’s expanding his footprint in the book publishing world. His multimedia production company, Mercury Radio Arts, has signed an agreement with Simon & Schuster (NYSE: CBS) to launch a new imprint, Mercury Ink, which will publish books that “Glenn is passionate about across a variety of genres.” Beck’s experience driving book sales could potentially make this co-venture very profitable for both Simon & Schuster and himself.

Beck and Simon & Schuster also renewed their co-publishing agreement, and he will continue to write “numerous books” for S&S each year under its conservative imprint, Threshold Editions. His new novel, The Snow Angel, comes out in October.

The division will be run by Kevin Balfe, Mercury’s SVP, Publishing. The first title, Michael Vey: The Prisoner of Cell 25 by bestselling author and Mormon father of five Richard Paul Evans, is a young adult novel that will be published in August. In the press release announcing the joint venture, Beck says Mercury Ink “will work with the best authors in a variety of genres to craft books that am I passionate about and that I believe will strongly connect with my audience.” It is unclear whether all of the imprint’s books will be specifically geared toward Beck’s existing conservative fans or whether the imprint will attempt to target a more general audience; we’ll update the post when we know more. The imprint’s books will not all have a set political message; some will be geared toward a conservative audience and some will target a more general audience.

Now that Oprah has ended her talk show–and, at least for now, her book club–the book publishing industry is lacking a major figure who can drive audiences toward specific titles. Simon & Schuster may have found that in Beck, whom the New York Times (NYSE: NYT) called the “new Oprah” for thrillers in 2009. But with the launch of the new imprint, he will probably be less likely to promote books published by other houses.

While his show’s ratings have fallen over the past year, a recent New York magazine article reported that in 2010 he earned over 90 percent of his income from non-Fox related activities. His radio show, “The Glenn Beck Program,” is syndicated on over 400 stations and has 10 million weekly listeners. The Blaze, which launched last August, pulls in over three million visitors a month.

Despite Beck’s large and devoted audience, he is clearly a much more polarizing figure than Oprah. While many readers will be drawn to books that are associated with him–even if they do not contain overtly political content or a certain message–as many may be turned off for the same reason.

  1. GroanChompsky Wednesday, June 1, 2011

    …Beck and Simon & Schuster also renewed their co-publishing
    agreement, and he will continue to write “numerous books” for S&S
    each year…

    wait, what?
    shouldn’t the quotation marks be around “he will continue to write” rather than “numerous books”?
    yes, there are numerous Glenn Beck books, but does anybody really think he actually “wrote” them? come on! like Sarah Palin, Beck needs to employ ghostwriters to compose anything longer than a shopping list! a person oughta be able to read a book before they attempt to write one. it is to laugh…

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    1. Have you ever watched his TV show, Groan?  I know you haven’t, because if you had, you would know how clueless your assertion is about Beck’s ability to read a book much less write one.  Beck is a media phenomenon.  He has successful TV and syndicated radio programs, multiple best-seller books of opinion/analysis and fiction, videos, dramatic stage appearances, the Blaze website, the GlennBeck.com website, SRO stage events with Bill O’Reilly and some just on his own, and a magazine.  Last summer he ran a series of educational programs on the Founding Fathers.  This year he has often discussed the German hero Eric Bonhoeffer.  Oh, and also, last year he organized an event in DC that attracted somewhere around half a million people. Can’t read a book, you say?  THAT is to laugh!

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      1. GroanChompsky Friday, June 3, 2011

        ok Richard. point taken. yes, Mr. Beck is very popular, he has many fans and followers.

        Mr. Beck is also very successful, he has made a big splash with his many commercial ventures.

        but you know who else was popular and successful? …. HITLER!

        { ;^) }
         

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  2. fyi Kevin Balfe–who’s running the imprint–is also the “co-author” of all Beck’s books.

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  3. It’s a pretty good sign, when Hitler is someone’s rejoinder, they’ve lost the argument.  Have a good one, Groan!

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  4. Nancy Summers Tuesday, June 21, 2011

    I am crushed that Beck is leaving Fox.  Every evening at five. p. m., I am in front of the TV ready to record Glenn’s program.  I don’t record the commercials…so I sit patiently through the commercials so I’ll be ready to record Glenn.
    Now what am I going to do at five p.m?

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    1. Staci D. Kramer Tuesday, June 21, 2011

      Read a book?

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