Joel Memoir Scrapped: No Reader Interest

Decides that a tour is
more to his liking.


By Blurt Staff


Yesterday it was announced that singer-songwriter Billy Joel
canceled plans to publish a memoir through HarperCollins. Despite having received
a $3 million advance from the publisher in 2008, as he began nearing this
year’s publication date of June, he ultimately decided, as he put it in a
statement, that he was “not all that interested in talking about the past.”


The Book of Joel was reportedly already completed and edited, and according to, advance proofs had already gone out to reviewers. Speculation is already
rampant that those proofs will become instant high-ticket eBay fodder, although
a quick scan of the internet auction site shows tons of earlier Joel bios (such
as those penned by Mark Bego and Hank Bordowitz) going for, er, a song, but no
copies of The Book of Joel just yet. It’s
likely, of course, that HarperCollins would step in and halt any such auctions,
but other areas of the internet make it relatively easy to pursue stealth selling,
so keep your eyes peeled, Joel fans.


Speaking to, Joel’s publicist Claire Mercuri
indicated that her client would also be returning the advance to the book
publisher, saying, “It was a decision that Billy made and he no longer
wanted to move forward with it. I felt he feels that his lyrics in the songs
and his music really speaks about his life better than anything else.”


However, BLURT has learned today that Joel may have based
his decision on other factors.


“There was simply no discerning reader interest and as a
result there were no advance orders for the book,” says one well-placed
industry insider in a position to know by virtue of that well-placement. “None of the major booksellers –
B&N, Borders, Books-A-Million – expressed enthusiasm at the prospect of
stocking and promoting it. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch.” Faced with the prospect
of coming off like the literary equivalent of Rihanna or Limp Bizkit, both of
whom canceled major tours in the summer of 2010 in the face of anemic ticket
sales, it’s entirely possible that Joel decided that not being 2011’s King of the Remainder Bins was preferable to
becoming a published author.


In related news, the Joel camp is expected to announce next week that
the piano man will be hitting the road for a major tour starting in May. His
asking price for potential tour promoters: $3 million.



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