Wearing the perfect hat, and other publishing strategies

Jared Paul Stern, the Page Six gossip columnist/antisocial personality fired last April for allegedly attempting to extort $220,000 from a billionaire in exchange for immunization from negative press, has just sold a gossip book for a rumored six figures.

Even the New York Times can’t keep a straight face (“the more appropriate question might be: Why?“).

Doesn’t Stern, pictured wearing a monocle above, look like a minor character from The Secret History?* Not to mention somebody you’d just like to slap as soon as he opened his mouth? Naturally, he has his own clothing line. Which might just be what got him the book deal.

Then Mark Gompertz and Mr. Stern met for the first time at the Simon & Schuster offices, on July 5, at 11 a.m. “He was wearing a perfect hat, as I thought he might,” Mr. Gompertz said. They met again on Aug. 4, at Mexican Radio, in Hudson, N.Y. Mr. Stern had the fish tacos and a few margaritas, and wore a shirt of his own design.

No, no, it must have been the stunning proposal — “a few pages” — that led Touchstone/Firestone publisher Mark Gompertz to “hope[] that ‘Stern Measures’ would be a serious book….”

* He is, incidentally, a Tartt fan and Bennington alum.


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