Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Add 'em up, Bobby

Could somebody do this math for me? If Sarah Palin did in fact receive seven million dollars for a book contract, how many copies would the publisher have to sell to recoup its cost? Would it be possible?

Yes, I intend to use song references for my blog headings until I get good and tired of it.

16 comments:

Beth Kephart said...

Let us also then count all the actual writers, the fractured, scraped, but yearning souls who have spent their whole lives crafting a book that now will not find a publishing home because "there is no money left in publishing." She takes from us all, the gift that keeps on giving.

Anonymous said...

Depending on cover price and discounts, say something in the neighborhood of four million copies?

Anonymous said...

I'm no fan, but I won't blame Palin for this. This is some mysterious but persistent tic of the industry.

Roger Sutton said...

I don't blame Palin, either--I'm just trying to wrap my head around the arithmetic. Wikipedia tells me That The Kite Runner has sold ten million copies, if that gives anyone else some sense of perspective.

Beth Kephart said...

Ah yes, I don't mean to blame Palin. I just do grow frustrated. I read so many fine books in manuscript that do not find their place on a bookstore shelf. I read so many fine books that don't find their way into a Barnes and Noble. Culture gets skewed by deals such as these—whether it is Palin or Tina Fey who gets the lopsided deal.

In the end, no writer really benefits from such enormous advances. Charles Frazier, for example, probably would have done so much better—as a writer—if the advance for his second book had been within the realm of appropriate. Money is not the measure of success for most writers. But money wisely distributed across the literary spectrum is necessary to keeping culture alive.

Anonymous said...

Figure in book-club income, syndication in mags
and/newspapers, paperback rights,and purchases by RNC devotees. All this, added to conventional bookstore sales, should be enough.

But then there are the MOVIE RIGHTS!!

Anonymous said...

consider he sub rights income: paperback edition, book club edition, syndication in mags and newspapers, movie rights (?) the book should be a goldmine for some lucky publisher - and Palin's agent!

Anonymous said...

If we assume a $30 cover price (Bill Clinton's MY LIFE was $35, and I don't think she has QUITE the same weight) and a royalty of --oh--12% (not to mention there could be an escalation...), she'd have to sell 2 million just to earn out her advance! (Though I don't think she cares much about building a good history at her publisher.)

Anonymous said...

Surely her royalty would be more than 12% - more likely 15% and maybe a slide?

Anonymous said...

What I'm waiting for is the announcement that it will be a children's picture book about an unusual moose who learns that it's okay to be different from all the other moose.

EM said...

I'm just feeling smart because I got the post title reference right away.

Anonymous said...

or maybe she can have a career as a talkshow personality. wouldn't it be fun to turn on the radio every day and hear that wonderful syntax?

Anonymous said...

with antlers that sparkle!

Anonymous said...

The woman can't even come up with one coherent sentence. Does anybody seriously believe she can write a book? It's vomititious.

janeyolen said...

I don't care, I intend to keep blaming Palin for EVERYTHING.

Jane

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should all just stop carrying on about Palin and she will GO AWAY. (Like a naughty child who can see that she's not the center of attention anymore.)