The Regnery Racket

So you may have heard about this right-wing mini-scandal, in which outraged authors are suing Regnery for selling their books through its own sister companies (like the Conservative Book Club) and paying them a pittance, rather than the higher royalties they're entitled to when books get sold through bookstores. What's interesting to me about the whole mess is that I had always understood the whole Conservative Book Club angle to be part of the appeal of signing a book deal with Regnery. I've had several in-the-know D.C. types explain to me over the years that if you're writing a conservative political book for the money, rather than the prestige (or the careful editing), you should do it through Regnery because their book club links - as well as their connections to the talk radio outlets that can help pump up a right-wing book's sales - enable them to more or less create best-sellers at will, in a way that other conservative imprints just can't match. But of course it rather defeats the purpose of picking a publisher for the money if their method of making you a best-seller doesn't net you very much, um, money. And you would think that someone would have picked up on this before now ...