In St. Paul there is a very interesting court case taking place that affects the publishing industry. Jesse Ventura is suing the widow of Navy SEAL and author of American Sniper Chris Kyle. Venture asserts that Kyle fabricated a passage in his 2012 best-seller about punching him in a California bar in 2006. Ventura has the burden to prove Kyle made up the store. A very high bar. He also must prove he suffered financially because of the book.
The case went to the jury today.
This case is interesting on many levels but as a book publicist it has many negatives and positives.
1. Negative: Make sure to check, check and re-check your facts. Once something is published it is out there forever.
2. Positive: Yes, it does sell books. For a book published 2 years ago, a rejuvenation in sales is a big deal.
3. Negative: It calls into question the credibility of everyone involved with the book, including the publisher.
4. Positive: It sheds light on publishing and how much research needs to be completed before a book is published.
5. Overall: I keep thinking what is the result? If the jury sides with Ventura it will continue to set a precedent that one can’t just make up stories. However, look at the money and time spent to argue a seemingly small issue.