• If you’re hoping to buy the new edition of O.J. Simpson’s “If I Did It,” don’t expect to find a copy at Barnes & Noble.
Citing a perceived lack of customer interest, the chain said the book would only be available by special order or for purchase online through Barnes & Noble.com.
“Our buyers don’t feel there will be enough of a demand to carry it in our stores,” Barnes & Noble spokeswoman Mary Ellen Keating told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
A rival chain, Borders Group Inc., said Tuesday that it would stock “If I Did It,” a ghost-written, fictionalized account of the murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. But spokeswoman Ann Binkley said Borders “will not promote or market the book in any way.”
In an interview with the Tribune earlier this month, Fred Goldman, the father of the slain Ron Goldman, was unapologetic about pursuing the publication of the book. The men’s clothing salesman at Scottsdale Fashion Square said once he was able to read excerpts of the book, it became clear that it was not a “how to” on killing someone, but rather a confession of a killer.
Simpson’s book was first scheduled for publication last November by ReganBooks, an imprint of HarperCollins, with an announced printing of 400,000.
But “If I Did It” was dropped in response to widespread outrage, in part, spurred by Fred Goldman. Regan-Books founder Judith Regan was later fired and her imprint disbanded.
“It is Barnes & Noble’s decision, not my decision, and the marketplace will determine whether they are right or not,” Eric Kampmann, the owner and president of Beaufort Books, the new publisher of “If I Did It,” told the AP.
“But I think it’s sad if they’re making their decision based on the HarperCollins experience, which was a totally different situation,” he said.
Last month, a federal bankruptcy judge awarded rights to the book to Goldman’s family to help satisfy a $38 million wrongful death judgment in a civil suit against Simpson.
Beaufort, a small New York-based publisher, is reissuing “If I Did It” in October, with Simpson’s original manuscript intact and commentary included.
The Goldman family is calling the book Simpson’s confession — the same description Regan offered in justifying the original publication.
“If I Did It” is still being criticized, even if Simpson is not profiting from it.
Denise Brown, Nicole Brown Simpson’s sister, has accused Goldman’s father and other family members of hypocrisy for publishing a book that he had called “disgusting and despicable” when Simpson first planned to publish it.
Goldman told the Tribune that much of the book’s eventual proceeds would go to a foundation established in the name of his slain son.
Simpson has maintained his innocence in the 1994 killings in the Brentwood section of Los Angeles. The former actor and football great, who now lives near Miami, was acquitted of murder in 1995.