Late on Friday afternoon, Ballantine Books, the publisher of "Paula Deen's New Testament," announced that it was dropping the cookbook from its fall release lineup. Even after so many other companies abandoned Paula, this came as a major shock.
Nielsen BookScan data provided to the Huffington Post showed that Deen's last six books have sold over a million copies combined -- generating many millions of dollars in revenue. And devout fans of Deen's seemed to respond to the scandal by buying even more books. By June 27, pre-orders for "Paula Deen's New Testament," which doesn't come out til October, had pushed the book to the number-one bestselling spot -- of all books -- on Amazon.com.
The book was (is?) co-authored by New York Times food writer Melissa Clark; a request for comment from her by The Huffington Post was not immediately returned.
The departure of Ballantine, a subsidiary of Random House, leaves very few corporations remaining on Paula's side. That either means that she's headed toward absolute ruin -- or she's hit rock bottom, and is due for a comeback. At this point, the fact that she hired the inspiration for Olivia Pope of "Scandal" to manage the crisis is the main reason to suspect the latter is still a possibility.