Bristol Palin Inc.: From Book Deal to DWTS
Bristol Palin has signed with William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins, to publish Not Afraid of Life, a memoir in which she chronicles her life, from growing up as the daughter of a political figure to becoming a teenage mother to the highs and lows of being a contestant on ABC's Dancing With the Stars. HarperCollins has published Sarah Palin's two bestsellers Going Rogue and America by Heart. Morrow announced in a statement about Bristol's new book: "She speaks candidly of her aspirations for the future and deep religious faith that gives her strength and inspiration."
So how much does abstinence promotion, a Dancing With the Stars stint, and her forthcoming autobiography really add up to? Duff McDonald pieces together the Palin scion's earnings.
There's a long political tradition of kids cashing in on a parent's name: Jenna Bush, Ron and Michael Reagan, the Roosevelts. But at least their dads were presidents, not half-term governors. Based on Newsweek's estimates of her revenue potential everywhere from publishing to consulting, Bristol's fueling a surprisingly sizable industry all her own.
ANNUAL REVENUE (ESTIMATED)
$100,000—Arizona's Mix 96.9 FM wants to hire her. She can play her mom's rap song from Saturday Night Live.
$100,000—The Candie's Foundation pays her $15,000 to $30,000 for each speech she makes as an advocate for abstinence. (Estimate assumes a half dozen this year.)
$250,000—Hire the hot BSMP consulting firm for advice on lobbying, public relations, and politics. The star attraction of BSMP: 20-year-old Bristol Sheeran Marie Palin.
$2.5 million—That's not her take from Dancing With the Stars. That's the advertising boost we estimate ABC enjoyed thanks to all the Palin pals who kept voting and voting and voting for her to stay on the show.
$3.25 million—Mama Bear's memoir, Going Rogue, sold more than 2.6 million copies. If Bristol's autobiography moves only 5 percent of that when it comes out in June, she'll still gross a tidy sum for Morrow (which just so happens to be her mother's publisher, too).
Negligible—Last year she applied to trademark her name, so soon we may need to refer to her as Bristol Palin®.
Impressive! Some might say the Palin name is invaluable; for now we'll go with negligible.
Duff McDonald is a contributing editor at Fortune magazine and a former contributing editor at Condé Nast Portfolio. His book, Last Man Standing, about Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of JPMorgan Chase, was published by Simon & Schuster in October 2009.