Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair intends to publish his memoirs soon. He has not yet begun writing them. But he has begun scouting for a lucrative publishing deal.
Reports in the British media claim he has hired Bill Clinton's New York agent, Robert Barnett, to land him a book deal for a minimum of 8 million pounds (Rs 68 crore). Barnett brokered the 6 million pound deal for Clinton's memoirs.
It is no secret that Blair has mortgage of nearly 4 million pounds. He has bought expensive real estate in Connaught Square in Central London, and properties in Bristol and Durham. But the book deal will wipe out the entire mortgage in one go, with more than enough left over.
His chances of making a killing are bright. A leading American publisher said, "The Americans love him. They see him as an articulate George Bush. He'll get a good whack out of a US publisher."
Blair was close to Clinton and later George Bush as well. His support was key in Bush's decision to go ahead with the Iraq war. Americans would be keen to get Blair's eye witness account of the Clinton and Bush rule, and his take on the continuing nightmare in Iraq.
Earlier there was speculation that Random House would secure the publishing rights. Its UK chief executive Gail Rebuck is married to Philip Gould, one of the architects of New Labour.
But that seems to have fallen through and Barnett preferred for his known ability to swing the best deal possible.
The book may be a few years away. Sources from the Labour party in UK told Hindustan Times that Blair, at Brown's request, had agreed not to publish them before the next general election. His turbulent relationship with his Chancellor is well-known, but if he writes about it frankly, it could affect Labour's prospects.
A Labour source suggested that the book might not even be released until Brown quits No10. He also hinted there would be "quite" a substantial reference to India, and his visits to the country.