Hello again from Sarah Graves, who has to keep looking at the photograph on the left in order to stay in any kind of halfway decent mood whatsoever. Because first of all, over the weekend a certain publisher who shall remain nameless but whose initials are RH and who is also my publisher made a deal for a first book by a 26-year-old woman, Lena Dunham, who writes a popular TV series. The publisher agreed on a price of $3.75 million, or about $9500 per page, and will need to sell along the lines of half a million copies to earn out.
Never mind the millions, I’m still stuck at being envious of someone who’s 26 years old. Although I do wonder what it feels like to write for a rate of approximately $38 per word, and which words could theybe, exactly? The ones to the formula that grows hair, cures cancer, and repairs global warming? How scary is it, trying to write these oh-so-expensive words? And — when does she get paid for them? Given the recent spate of lawsuits trying to recover advance money paid to other writers who
for whatever reason didn’t show up with the stuff, I assume there’s a little cash up front — say, maybe a quarter million? — and the rest at various milestones later. Like, a year after publication, then a year after publication in Urdu, then a year after hell freezes over… It used to be that publishers didn’t come after you so much for advances for things that didn’t work out, but nowadays they do, so she shouldn’t spend it all right away, is all I am saying.
Um. Well, but not all all. In other news, The World came to Eastport yesterday, and my goodness but we were all agog. The World, in case you missed it on account of being in shock over that $3.75 mill for, basically, the memoirs of a person who has lived slightly over a quarter-century, is a Great Big Cruise Ship with a difference: it’s condos. You buy an apartment, anything from a $600K studio to a couple of million for three bedrooms. Which right there stops me: spare bedrooms? I get on a ship, sail far, far away…But I can’t say sorry, the place is too small for Aunt Sylvia and Uncle Chaz to come and visit with their
toy poodles, Poopsie and Tinkle? No way; I’ve lived in Maine long enough to know that part of luxury is being able to say that we’ll just have to have our visit at a restaurant, next time this tub makes port. Also: the condo fees on The World start at around $20K per month. Which last time I looked was a little less than Maine’s per capita yearly income of about $25K, but hey, who’s counting? We did sell them several hundred pounds of fresh lobster and lobster meat, so that was good, and the idea that local musicians should go downtown and play on the street for tips somehow didn’t get any traction (don’t get me going on that one!) so all in all it was a decent day.The opportunities for satire were endless, though, and I think Eastporters deserve lots of credit for not pursuing any of them. Like, say, dressing up in hobo costumes while playing those musical instruments…