In announcing the formation of All Seasons Press (ASP) in June 2021, the upstart publisher of conservative writers said the press was established to take on “the cancel culture that is destroying the publishing industry and the country,” pledging to be “a publishing house that stands by our authors, rain or shine.” But this week, the publisher is looking to cancel its relationship with former Trump chief of staff Mark Meadows, claiming that the author made false statements in his 2021 memoir, The Chief’s Chief, in breach of his publishing contract.
Citing “increasingly credible” media reports of Meadows’s alleged statements to special counsel Jack Smith's investigators—reportedly given in exchange for immunity from prosecution—the publisher is pulling the book from publication and suing Meadows in Florida state court, seeking to claw back the book's $350,000 advance. The suit also seeks more than $1 million in “expectation damages” for lost profits; “out-of-pocket damages” exceeding $600,000 for costs associated with the publication; and more than $1 million in “incidental damages” for harm to ASP’s reputation.
The lawsuit comes after ABC News reported on October 24 that Meadows reportedly told investigators that he has never seen “any evidence of fraud that would have kept now-president Joe Biden from the White House,” and that neither he nor Trump truly believed the election was stolen. Such statements, if accurate, would “squarely contradict” statements Meadows made in his book, the complaint states, "a central theme of which is that that President Trump was the true winner of the 2020 presidential election," in "clear and direct breach” of contract provisions in which Meadows warranted that all statements in the book were true and accurate.
The suit represents a surprising escalation by the publisher. In the complaint, ASP lawyers concede they are relying on media reports and that they don’t actually know what, if anything, Meadows may have told investigators. Furthermore, an attorney for Meadows has since told CBS News that the ABC report is “largely inaccurate.”
Nevertheless, the ASP complaint suggests that widespread reports of Meadows’s cooperation has contributed to tanking book sales—the complaint says that the book has sold 60,000 copies out of a 200,000 first printing—and that the publisher felt “ethically obliged” to pull the book off the market, which the complaint says it did on November 2. Figures from Circana BookScan, which collects data from outlets that represent 85% of print sales, reported that the book has sold over 23,000 copies since its release, including 533 copies in 2023. While the book is no longer listed on the ASP website, at press time, it remains available both in print and digital formats on various retail sites, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Launched in June 2021 by Louise Burke and Kate Hartson, publishing veterans with a background in publishing conservative authors, ASP has published a number of popular conservative titles since its inception, including Tucker by Chadwick Moore; In Trump Time: A Journal of America’s Plague Year by Trump advisor Peter Navarro; and Rush on the Radio: A Tribute from his Sidekick for 30 Years by former Rush Limbaugh producer James Golden (a.k.a. Bo Snerdley).
Burke was cofounder of Simon & Schuster’s conservative imprint, Threshold Editions, and went on to be president and publisher of S&S’s Gallery Books Group before leaving in 2017. Hartson was editorial director of Hachette Books Group’s Center Street imprint before she was fired.
This story has been updated.