Arnold Schwarzenegger's memoir, "Total Recall," has been on shelves for fewer than 24 hours and already the former governor is making substantial money from telling his story. And it could likely have made him even more, had he not been so frightened about leaks.
"A number of major publishers weren't even given the opportunity to look at this," one major publisher tells me. "It might have been given as an exclusive or it might have been pre-empted, so we don't know exactly what it went for, but it's fair to say several million."
Because the book wasn't put up for all the major publishing houses to bid on, Schwarzenegger will never really know what the value of the work would have been in a competitive situation.
"They may be leaving significant dollars on the table as the agent and author have less information from the various publishers when they get to the stage of negotiating business terms of the contract," one insider tells me. "But this way of selling a book comes with many advantages. Content leaks are kept to a very minimum, if at all, plus, the author doesn't have to pimp himself to 10 or 15 publishing groups with each meeting [at his level] probably having at least a dozen gawkers in the room. In my opinion, most exclusives or deals are made when the agent only brings in one or two publishers who are associated with deals that have more sizzle in the proposal than punch in final book form. Of course, there are others that become major books, like Clinton's.”
A rep for Simon & Schuster, the book's publisher, declined to comment on Schwarzenegger's contract, but noted, "The governor has always published with S&S." (Schwarzenegger's previous releases include 1999's "The New Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding," 1993's "Arnold," 1984's "Arnold's Bodybuilding for Men.")
Schwarzenegger makes it clear during his interview with "60 Minutes" that money had nothing to do with his decision to write a book.