The publisher Hachette is suing Richard Ben Cramer for $550,000 over two books that they allege he failed to write. The first book, the only one confirmed, was to about the inside world of the New York Yankees and Alex Rodriguez, tentatively titled The Importance of Being Alex: A Life With the Yankees.
According to the lawsuit, the book had been due on February 1st, 2010. It was announced in June that the project had been shelved.
According to website The Smoking Gun, the original deal signed in September 2006 by Hachette subsidiary Grand Central Publishing was worth $1.5 million, including a $250,000 bonus if the hardcover sold more than 200,000 copies in its first year of publication. Cramer was paid an advance of $550,000, which Hachette is seeking to recoupe with interest.
Cramer is 62 years old, and won the Pulitzer Prize for Middle East reporting in 1979. He has previously written books on Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio.