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Paula Deen publisher cancels book deal. Now what? (+video)

Paula Deen was supposed to release "Paula Deen's New Testament: 250 Favorite Recipes, All Lightened Up" in October. But Ballantine Books canceled the release, even though it was already No. 1 in pre-orders on Amazon.

A look at Paula Deen book sales
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Paula Deen's publisher canceled a deal with her for multiple books, including an upcoming cookbook that was the No. 1 seller on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com, following her admission she used a racial slur.

Ballantine Books announced Friday it would not release "Paula Deen's New Testament: 250 Favorite Recipes, All Lightened Up," which was scheduled for October and was the first of a five-book deal announced early last year. Interest in it had surged as Deen, who grew up in Albany, Ga., and specializes in Southern comfort food, came under increasing attack for acknowledging she had used the N-word.

Ballantine, an imprint of Random House Inc., said it had decided to cancel the book's publication after "careful consideration." It had no comment beyond what was in its brief statement, spokesman Stuart Applebaum said.

 

Later Friday, Deen's literary agent, Janis Donnaud, said that the entire deal had been called off.

"I am confident that these books will be published and that we will have a new publisher," said Donnaud, who declined to comment on whether she had heard from other publishers.

The trouble for Deen started when comments she made in a court deposition became public. During the deposition in a discrimination lawsuit filed by an ex-employee, Deen admitted using the N-word in the past but denied using it to describe waiters.

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