Publishers acquire Jackson autobiography rights

Fri Jul 24, 2009 7:21pm EDT
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Publishers including Random House have bought the rights to reprint Michael Jackson's best-selling 1988 autobiography, "Moonwalk," Random House said on Friday.

The book, in which the late pop icon talks of his fame, music career and famous family, will be released in October following his death last month. It will sell for $25.

The U.S. and Canadian rights were bought by Harmony Books, an imprint of Random House, which is owned by Europe's largest media group Bertelsmann. Harmony will print an initial run of 100,000 copies.

Harmony Books spokesman Campbell Wharton declined to comment on the terms of the deal made with Jackson's estate.

The book's publishing rights were bought by Michel Lafon in France, Heyne in Germany and Heinemann in Britain.

The U.S. book deal was finalized by Shaye Areheart, Harmony's publisher who was Jackson's original editor at Doubleday, which first published the book.

In the book Jackson discusses figures like Quincy Jones, Paul McCartney, Brooke Shields, his sister Janet Jackson and his tumultuous relationship with his father, Joe Jackson.

Random House said it will soon reveal which entertainment figure close to Jackson will write a new introduction. The afterward will be written by Areheart.

"This new edition of 'Moonwalk' will continue to celebrate his life and career and show an extraordinary side of Michael that many have not seen," Areheart said in the statement.

"Moonwalk," titled after Jackson's signature dance move, soared to No. 1 on The New York Times best-seller list in 1988, selling 500,000 copies in the United States.

(Reporting by Christine Kearney; Editing by Michelle Nichols and Xavier Briand)

<p>Michael Jackson performs during a concert in Prague, September 7, 1996. REUTERS/Petr David Josek</p>