Michael Joseph dismisses Middleton claim

Penguin division Michael Joseph has dismissed a claim that it has pulled out of publishing two more books with Pippa Middleton.

The Daily Mail reported today (21st January) that Michael Joseph, which published Middleton's party guide Celebrate last year, intended to withdraw from plans to publish a further two books because of Palace restrictions on Middleton's publicity activities. But a spokesperson for Michael Joseph told The Bookseller: "Celebrate was a one book deal."

The publisher paid £400,000 for the title, but made the advance back before it went on sale. Despite press coverage ridiculing low sales, Michael Joseph m.d. Louise Moore said in November: "We feel bullish about this title as we had earned out our advance with foreign rights and serial sales before we published and we know – in addition – this kind of publication is more likely to be an ongoing backlist sale as opposed to the high frontlist one."

To date, Celebrate has sold 37,900 copies in the UK, at a value of £371,000, according to Nielsen BookScan data. It has sold a further 15,400 copies in the USA.

Penguin has not confirmed any further book plans with Middleton.