At least one publisher is looking to capitalize on some last-minute changes to Wael Ghonim's schedule. The author of Revolution 2.0, which Houghton Mifflin Harcourt bought in a major acquisition at last year's London Book Fair (and which publishes on January 17), has had to re-jigger the schedule of his impending book tour, and the change has prompted St. Martin's Press to offer up their author as an alternative.
Ghonim famously mobilized Egyptians and others via his Facebook page in the weeks leading up to the civilian outcry in Egypt last year, and his book, in large part, is about that experience. SMP also happens to have a new book about the Arab spring on its list so, when the folks at the Macmillan division got wind of Ghonim's cancelations, they saw an opportunity.
St. Martin's John Murphy said that when he found out Ghonim had canceled his scheduled stop at the Washington, DC-based Politics and Prose, he quickly offered Ashraf Khalil as someone who could fill in for Ghonim. Khalil is a Cairo-based reporter whose book, Liberation Square: Inside the Egyptian Revolution of a Nation, was published by SMP on January 3. Murphy said Khalil is a logical replacement for Ghonim as someone who "has been reporting from Cairo for 15 years and was on the streets during the entire revolution."
Although Khalil could speak to the same subject as Ghonim, SMP may not have too many empty spots to fill. A rep from HMH said that Ghonim has not canceled his tour, as Politics and Prose noted in the statement it sent out, he has postponed attending events in three cities. Lori Glazer at HMH said Ghonim wanted to be in Egypt for the one-year anniversary of the uprising there, on January 25, but that he is going ahead with his 10-city tour. Glazer added that she is currently rescheduling the initial events Ghonim had to cancel. Ghonim will be stopping in, among other places, New York, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Seattle.