Everyone loves a comeback. And a comeback is what John LeFevre is now enjoying. The once anonymous creator of the popular @GSElevator Twitter feed recently saw his book killed by Simon & Schuster after his identity was outed by the New York Times. Now, after LeFevre was raked over the coals by the press, his book, Straight to Hell, has been brought back; Grove Atlantic has acquired the nonfiction work in a six-figure deal, and plans to publish it in November.
LeFevre, whose feed purported to capture the smarmy utterances of employees riding the elevators at Goldman Sachs, got into hot water after the Times revealed he had never worked at Goldman Sachs. The news brought with it a swirl of negative press and, ultimately, caused S&S to cancel LeFevre's forthcoming book, Straight to Hell. (S&S, incidentally, had also inked LeFevre's book for a six figure sum.)
Although LeFevre was talking to PW about suing Simon & Schuster just over a week ago, Grove Atlantic seems unfazed by the comments. In an announcement about the acquisition, the house touted the author's impressive numbers on Twitter -- more than 650,000 followers -- while publisher Morgan Entrekin said LeFevre's "satirical voice captures the outrageous, excessive yet fascinating lives and culture of a certain segment of the international banking elite."
Entrekin acquired world English rights to the book with senior editor Jamison Stoltz and the title appears to be unaltered from the one S&S had acquired. Deb Seager, a spokesperson for Grove Atlantic, told PW that the book "is in the process of being completed," when asked whether it will be significantly different from the work S&S bought. In its acquisition announcement, the publisher said the book will be an "unapologetic, darkly funny account" of the author's time working in the banking industry.
Notably, Grove Atlantic did include a bio of its author, which says that he worked for Salomon Brothers straight out of college and touches on his unusual -- and much discussed -- employment history with the subject of his Twitter feed. The publisher states that LeFevre was hired by Goldman Sachs in 2010 for "a position that he was eventually unable to take due to a contractual issue."
Asked about whether Grove Atlantic had any qualms about signing an author who misrepresented himself to his first publisher, Seager said: "We are comfortable with John’s resume."