The inside scoop on the book world -- Paul McCartney may release a book of poetry, while St. martin's made the winning bid for Bobby Knight's memoirs

By Matthew Flamm
Updated November 17, 2000 at 05:00 AM EST

Paul McCartney is looking to add ”poet” to his résumé. The ex-Beatle has met with New York publishers about releasing a collection of his song lyrics and poems and hopes to land the book ”at a serious publishing house,” says one interested editor. While the lyrics are well-known, the poems, according to the editor, go back to the ’60s and include ”love poems for Linda and poems for John Lennon.”

Esquire‘s former ethics columnist Harry Stein is linking up with Esquire editor-turned-HarperCollins exec editor David Hirshey to write The Girl Watchers Club, a sort of Tuesdays With Morrie knockoff in which Stein’s friends will weigh in on life as they get older. ”They’re mathematicians, physicists, war heroes, all in their late 70s and 80s,” says Hirshey, who paid in the mid-six figures for the book, due in time for Father’s Day 2003. ”They’re a wonderfully rich bunch of characters, not just guys who meet at the corner deli.”

The auction for the memoirs of ex-Indiana University basketball coach Bobby Knight is reportedly over, with St. Martin’s the apparent winner with a $1.25 million bid. But the publisher says reports of the deal are premature. ”There’s nothing signed,” insists Joe Rinaldi, publicity manager for the St. Martin’s imprint Thomas Dunne Books, adding that the proposed book ”is not an apology, it’s a real straightforward ‘This is who I am, this is why I’m the coach, the leader, the educator that I am.”’ …ABC skating commentator Dick Button also has a home for his memoir. Scribner will pay $250,000 for the book, due out in December 2001 in time for the 2002 Winter Olympics.