“Mark Owen” doesn’t exist—at least not by that name—but he’s making big news this morning in the publishing world. (And the rest of the world too.) The pseudonymous ex-Navy-SEAL is the author of No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden, a forthcoming memoir of, well, just what it sounds like. The book, from Penguin imprint Dutton, is listed for an October release on Amazon.com, but the book will actually be released on Sept. 11. (the release date was chosen because the book begins and ends with 9/11, Dutton spokesperson Christine Ball told TIME via email)
The author—who writes along with Kevin Maurer, an author who has spent time embedded with American forces—is a former member of SEAL Team Six who, according to the New York Times, will do all publicity for the book while wearing a disguise. The Washington Post adds that White House officials, the CIA and the Defense Department were not consulted about the book. But despite the book’s claims to tell the whole story of the raid, it’s not yet known whether the author will cross lines with classified information or if he will stick to personal reflection.
The potential that he could go the former route, that national secrets might be divulged, may well be great news for Dutton. In a similar 2010 case, in which the Army intelligence memoir Operation Dark Heart went too far, the Pentagon spent nearly $50,000 buying and destroying nearly every copy of the book, according to the Associated Press. With a planned print run of 300,000, according to the Times, at a hardcover price of $26.95, that would be more than $8 million at retail. Who says the American government doesn’t support the arts enough?
For an insightful military perspective on why No Easy Day rubs some the wrong way, check out Mark Thompson’s post on the subject over on Battleland: Navy SEAL Reportedly Set To Tell All About bin Laden Raid In New Book