Emily Gould · 11/16/07 02:00PM

We hear that the auction for 'The Last Lecture,' WSJ reporter Jeffrey Zaslow's poignant life-affirming book about cancerous professor and daytime talk-show regular Randy Pausch, has ended. However, the two final bidders (most likely Hyperion and HarperCollins) are now having what's known as a "beauty contest," where they jockey to demonstrate to the author and agent that they'd do best by the author. Publisher's Lunch dismisses the $6.75 million figure Keith Kelly quotes as being in highly inflated "New York Post dollars," But since we heard $6 million on Monday, we're inclined to believe that publishers really are banking on ill-fated profs being the new ill-fated pets.