THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the First Lady
BACKGROUND INFORMATION REGARDING FIRST LADY HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON'S BOOK IT TAKES A VILLAGE AND OTHER LESSONS CHILDREN TEACH US
For more than 25 years, Mrs. Clinton has worked on behalf of children and their families. In It Takes A Village and Other Lessons Children Teach Us, Mrs. Clinton shares her passion, convictions and insights gleaned from her experiences as mother, daughter, advocate, attorney and First Lady.
Carolyn Reidy, President and Publisher of the Simon and Schuster Trade Division, and Senior Editor Rebecca Saletan approached Mrs. Clinton with the idea of writing a book based on her views about children and families. Both had worked with Mrs. Clinton's mother-in-law, Virginia Kelley, on her autobiography Leading With My Heart. The First Lady agreed to write a book early last year.
The initial deadline for publication It Takes A Village was Christmas 1995. Like many first-time authors, Mrs. Clinton missed the original deadline. According to Mrs. Clinton, "With each draft the book took on a new shape until finally it was what I wanted it to be, a continuing meditation on the needs of children and their families."
Mrs. Clinton wrote the book in the White House residence, during her vacation last summer in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and at Camp David. Simon and Schuster selected Barbara Feinman, a Washington-based writer and editor to help Mrs. Clinton as she began to write her book. Barbara Feinman assisted Mrs. Clinton for approximately seven months on researching, producing notes from a series of her taped conversations with the First Lady and the initial drafting of some chapters of the book. Mrs. Clinton wrote many drafts, making substantial changes, which nearly doubled the size of the planned-for book.
Additionally, Simon and Schuster hired a fact-checker and a typist to assist Mrs. Clinton with the project. Word processing equipment, a facsimile machine and copier were also provided to Mrs. Clinton by Simon and Schuster.
Mrs. Clinton consulted experts, advocates, family members and friends, many of whom volunteered to help with and critique drafts of the book, and others who took her invitation to heart when she asked that they send or call her with their best parenting stories. Mrs. Clinton's Chief-of-Staff, Maggie Williams, volunteered her personal time and took a one-week leave of absence without pay to review and comment extensively on one of the final drafts of the First Lady's book. Lissa Muscatine, a speechwriter for Mrs. Clinton, volunteered her personal time to be one of Mrs. Clinton's key readers and draft commentators. (Government regulations permit federal employees to engage in non-conflicting outside activities provided they do so on their own time.) The President also read drafts of the First Lady's book, offering his advice and comments.
Mrs. Clinton's acknowledgment list began with more than sixty people. In the end, she acknowledges her "book writing" village universally, saving her most personal thanks for those to whom the book is dedicated. The dedication reads:
For the family that raised me, the family I joined and the family we made.
The 320-page hardcover book arrived in bookstores January 10th and 11th and will be sold for $20. Simon and Schuster has an initial printing of 350,000 copies. There are no bulk sale arrangements. Any such requests that arise will be handled by the publisher.
Although government ethics laws and regulations do not prohibit the First Lady from earning income, Mrs. Clinton chose to receive no advance from Simon and Schuster. Mrs. Clinton will receive 15% of the suggested retail value of each book. All proceeds from the book, after taxes, will be donated to charity -- specifically, to children's hospitals. In making these donations, Mrs. Clinton will be advised by the National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions.
Simon and Schuster has developed and will sponsor a promotional tour for Mrs. Clinton that includes travel to Little Rock and Blytheville, Arkansas; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Chicago, Illinois; New York City, New York; and Boston, Massachusetts between January 16th and January 20th. From February 6th to 9th, Mrs. Clinton will travel to Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Los Angeles and San Francisco, California. Early primary states, New Hampshire and Iowa, will not be a part of Mrs. Clinton's book tour. While Mrs. Clinton hopes to fulfill two Democratic Committee commitments made prior to the writing of the book, she has no plans to attend other political events during her book tour.
Simon & Schuster will pay the costs of the book tour. Mrs. Clinton always travels with one official aide to assist in the conduct of her duties as First Lady. Depending upon the level of non-book related press interest in Mrs. Clinton as she travels, a second aide may also accompany her to address non-book related press matters. Staff and assistance for book promotional events in each city will be retained by Simon and Schuster.
Mrs. Clinton will be available for national, regional and local media interviews. All interviews will be arranged by Simon and Schuster. Requests should be submitted to Victoria Meyer, Simon and Schuster, 1230 Avenue of the Americas, NY, NY, 10020 Office: 212-698-7530, Fax 212-698-7336. Media questions about the book should be directed to Sue Vogelsinger, Office: 202-347-2666.