According to Sara Nelson:
The world is full of journalists who look for–and get–book deals. (In the depth of the recession, a lot of us believe itâ€™s easier to get a book contract than a raise at our day jobs, or even a new staff position altogether.) But who gets permission to do a book, and who gets a leave of absence, and why, and what it all means, varies from case to case and place to place.
(Via Publishers Lunch.)