NEW YORK – Martha Stewart (search), the domestic diva and convicted felon who spent five months in jail for lying to federal prosecutors, has snagged a $2 million book deal from "South Beach Diet (search)" publisher Rodale to write a how-to business book.
The book, due out in October shortly after her two new TV shows hit the airwaves, is to be called "Martha's Rules."
"My goal with this book is to help people turn their passions into successful businesses, as I did myself through many of the things I learned over the years," said Stewart in a prepared statement.
The book is not an autobiography, and it does not encroach on her lucrative how-to book series that she has with the Clarkson Potter imprint of Random House Inc (search). The next book in that series, "Baking with Martha Stewart," is due in November.
It is not clear how Stewart will deal in the book with the long federal investigation into ImClone stock sales that nearly wrecked Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia (MSO).
It resulted in a guilty conviction for lying to federal prosecutors and a five-month jail term that ended in March and another five months of home confinement during which she must wear an ankle bracelet — which she despises — to track her movements.
"The content has not been finalized," said Stewart spokeswoman Liz Estroff.
The deal was a pre-emptive one by Steve Murphy, the CEO of Rodale (search), who in an earlier stint as an executive at EMI had worked with Charles Koppelman, the current chairman of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. The deal was hatched with the company and not Martha Stewart personally.
The book was sold on a handshake without a formal outline, and is the second bright spot of news for Martha Stewart Living this week.
The flagship magazine Martha Stewart Living, which was hemorrhaging ad pages for the better part of two years, just reported a robust June with ad pages surging 27.3 percent compared with the same period a year ago to 64.4 pages. It is still down 13.8 percent for the year, but gaining ground in the months since Stewart's release from jail.