New Genre of Literature Hits Bookstores - the 'Conditional Confession'

Article excerpt

O.J. Simpson's "If I Did It" was one of this fall's guilty pleasures - no one admits to reading it, but 150,000 copies have been sold online and in bookstores.

For those who might have forgotten, the ghost-written account of how the former football star would have murdered Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman was supposed to be published last year by ReganBooks, but was pulled in response to public outrage. Later, the Goldman family, awarded the rights to the book by a federal bankruptcy judge, had it printed by a smaller publishing house, Beaufort Books. They retitled it "If I Did it: Confessions of the Killer."

Spurred by the prodigious sales, the American publishing industry is now seeking to capitalize on what many see as a new genre of literature - the Conditional Confession, known as "Con-Con," or "Double-Con."

Other participants in the so-called trial of the century are reported to be rushing their own double-con forays into print. New Reich Books, an imprint of David Duke Publishers, will issue Mark Furhman's "If I Said It," which promises chapters on hurling epithets, glove identification, and popular hikes in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

Exculpatory Press will launch Marcia Clark's "If I Smiled." But, tragically, no publishing house so far seems interested in Judge Ito's "If I Ruled It," although his jello mold continues to do well.

This, of course, is only the beginning. Historians are rushing long-moldering manuscripts to agents everywhere. Getting them published can be ... well, murder. But here's what may be hitting the shelves before the new year.

An usher at London's Globe Theatre found a dog-eared folio stuffed into a medieval seat cushion bearing the slogan, "Crushhe Manchester Unitede." The folio was signed "W. Shakespeare" and called, "As a Matter of Fact, I Did Write It. …