No More @GSElevator Book Deal

The publishing deal for @GSElevator tweets is off the table. With 652,000 followers, the author had garnered an impressive following by tweeting what could be said in the Goldman Sachs elevator. He never claimed that the tweets were actually said-or that he worked for Goldman. When the book deal was first announced, it was unclear whether either mattered to Touchstone, a division of Simon and Schuster. But now that John LeFevre's identify has been revealed, the offer has been withdrawn.


According to a Business Insider article, the decision surprised LeFevre:

"It's just a comical mystery to me. As of Friday afternoon, after all of the noise - during which Simon & Schuster prohibited me from responding and defending myself - they have continued to support me and stand by our project. Well, until today apparently."

Simon and Schuster gave this statement:

"In light of information that has recently come to our attention since acquiring John Lefevre's STRAIGHT TO HELL, Touchstone has decided to cancel its publication of this work."

LeFevre also wrote a piece in Business Insider explaining the history of @GSElevator and defending himself. Here are a few excerpts, and you can read the full version here:

"For the avoidance of any doubt, any person who actually thought my Twitter feed was literally about verbatim conversations overhead in the elevators of Goldman Sachs is an idiot.

"Newsflash: GSElevator has never been about elevators. And, it's never been specifically about Goldman Sachs; it's about illuminating Wall Street culture in a fun and entertaining way. Without highlighting the obvious evolution of the tweets into more generally-appealing observations, let's start with the simple fact that each of my tweets says 'Sent from Twitter for Mac,' hardly the work of someone pretending to be hiding in the walls of 200 West.

"Being called a 'fake' or a 'hoax' by the same people who embraced me as 'satire' is simply laughable – and it really speaks to the silly and opportunistic attempts at cheap headlines.

"I have been completely transparent in saying that my tweets are edited, curated, and crafted, in a way that I think will best resonate and still embody the soul and mentality of Wall Street. My focus has been to entertain and enlighten, without being completely devoid of substance and insight."

Discussion Starters:
  • Why do you think Touchstone withdrew the book deal? Do you think this was the right decision?
  • Read LeFevre's response. Which parts do you find most and least convincing to convey his perspective?