What's Up with Lucrative Book Deals?

Just heard that Sarah Palin was advanced 1.25 million dollars for her new "Going Rogue" book. Got me to wondering how much other folks have made from book deals. Here is an unsubstantiated list of a few other book deals:
  • Senator Ted Kennedy received a $2 million advance for his memoirs in 2008.
  • Singer Britney Spears signed a $14 million publishing deal to write a no-holds-barred account of her career last January.
  • Hillary Clinton got an $8 million advance for her book "Living History" in 2000 from Simon and Schuster.
  • Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan got $8.5 million from Penguin Press for his memoir "The Age of Turbulence: Adventures in a New World".
  • Obama campaign manager David Plouffe signed a seven-figure deal to write “The Audacity to Win: The Inside Story and Lessons of Barack Obama's Historic Victory” to be published by Viking Press.
  • Miley Cyrus signed a $7 million book deal last year with Disney Book Group for her "Mile to Go" book.
  • Joe The Plumber, aka Samuel Wurzelbacher, signed a deal last year for his book, "Joe the Plumber -- Fighting for the American Dream".
  • Former GE CEO Jack Welch got $7.1 million from TimeWarner Books.
  • VP Dick Cheney signed a $2 million deal with Simon and Schuster in June.
  • President Bill Clinton received a $15 million advance from the Knopf Publishing Group to write "My Life", his 2004 autobiography.
And just out today - Andre Agassi reportedly tells all about his crystal meth addiction in his new book "Open".. he reportedly got $5 million from a Random House affiliate.. guess you have to spice it up when they give you that much dough.

So I just gotta wonder.. why are we so interested in these folks? Do you think that they are really worth the big bucks? Have you read any of these books? I confess that I have not. If you have read any of these please share your perspectives on them. Christmas is coming.. maybe we need to add them to our shopping list?


  1. I have never read a "tell all" book and probably never will.

    I don't know why people show so much interest in a person like Joe the Plumber but if I was Joe the Plumber I would do the same thing he is doing.

    Some of the authors on the list have unique experience and knowledge that makes their writings interesting and useful to some people. "Neutron Jack" Welch and Alan Greenspan are two such authors but not necessarily the only two in this category.

    Then there are authors who have plenty of experience but it isn't useful to others. Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus are excellent examples.

  2. I want one! A book deal that is! :D

    BTW, the idea that writers are automaticly rich isn't true. An author friend of mine got a mere $2,000 for her first published book and after years of work and several published books, she's just now able to make a somewhat comfortable living as a writer. In contrast, the idea of Miley Cyrus and Britney getting millions for their "life stories" stikes me as truly ridiculous.

  3. I am definitely not interested in any of those books and don't think they (the celebs) are worth that much money. Its rather sad how we put these people on pedestals.

  4. I think it's to see a different side, an insider's view so to speak. I don't read too many of these books, but I have a few. If they are a good writer and have a compelling story... or lay out a vision (not all are just autobiographies) they can be quite compelling.

    BTW, I though Palin's advance was much more than that... so I was kind of surprised at the amount. Prior to her disclosure I was hearing $7 million (which is a ridiculous amount of money). She'll definitely end up with more than that though the way this book is selling before it is even released.

  5. I do wonder Shane when we are reading that "insiders view" if we are just listening to someone's gossip about people that they did not get along with?


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