Plus, an account of the Atlantic City club where Sinatra got his start

By Matthew Flamm
Updated June 13, 2000 at 04:00 AM EDT
Credit: XL/LFI

The hot market for rappers is heating up the book world: ReganBooks, which has become the unofficial publisher of professional wrestling, appears to be trying to repeat its success with the world of white rappers. According to sources, the HarperCollins imprint has been courting both Eminem and Kid Rock, though no contracts have been signed. ”It’s a matter of finding the time and deciding whether the time is right for [Eminem] to come out with something like that,” says Paul Rosenberg, Eminem’s manager, adding that his client has been in discussions with ReganBooks about a proposed autobiography ”for some time.” A spokesperson for Kid Rock’s label, Atlantic Records, says, ”It’s way too soon to talk about” any book possibilities. ReganBooks had no comment on either deal. Also on the music front, agents Loretta Barrett and Marie Brown are shopping a proposed autobiography of Ruff Ryder rapper DMX.

PLUS Crown Publishing has won a seven-way auction for ”The Last Good Time,” a historical account of the 500 Club, a storied Atlantic City nightspot where Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr. all got their start. ”It’s ‘The Sopranos’ meets ‘American Beauty’ meets ‘The Godfather,”’ says agent Todd Shuster, who sold Jonathan Van Meter’s proposal to Crown senior editor Doug Pepper for a ”substantial” six-figure advance…. Literary fiction stays in the groove: Grove/Atlantic was the winning bidder in a bustling auction for ”Crawling at Night,” a first novel by caterer turned writer Nani Power, reportedly plunking down more than $200,000 for two books.