Several top executives said that publishing Mr. Trump could be perilous in a polarized media environment — to a degree that is far different from his books released before he became president — and that the possibilities of boycotts, libel lawsuits and social media campaigns outweighed the obvious financial benefits. Earlier this year, Hachette dropped a planned memoir by Woody Allen following protests by its employees and Mr. Allen’s son Ronan Farrow, an author who is also published by a Hachette imprint.
Others noted that publishers would face credibility issues if they released a book by a public figure known for spreading falsehoods and misinformation. Publishers, who typically rely on authors for fact-checking and accuracy, would likely need to take additional steps to verify that Mr. Trump’s account was factual and that he would be willing to undergo that kind of review. And if the factual and legal vetting did not eventually satisfy the publisher, would they be able to claw back whatever portion of the advance had already been paid?
“I’d have to be satisfied that he met Simon & Schuster’s overall standards for publishing a book, which is that book be honest, fair and balanced,” Ms. Canedy said. “We’d want to know that he would be willing to be edited and submit to a rigorous fact-checking process.”