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January 8, 2008

News & Opinion: Suzy Welch earns big advance

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 3:42 PM – Filed under: Publishing Industry

Booksellers and industry insiders alike were astounded a few years ago when Elizabeth Kostova's book The Historian went to auction and sold for $2 million to Time Warner, and the movie rights went to Sony for $1.5 million. What made Kostova's accomplishment so remarkable was that The Historian was her first book, a 600-page, historical fiction tome. (And very good, if you've got the arm muscle tone.) It's not uncommon to see a celebrity or established, mainstream author get a book published in a snap, but it is a surprise when a newcomer can sweep up the industry.
Still, seven-figure advances like Kostova's aren't common, for celebrity or debut authors, fiction or nonfiction. That's why it is big news in the New York Times this week that Suzy Welch, the former HBR editor and the wife of Jack Welch, has agreed to sell the rights to her new book, "10-10-10," to Scribner, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, for a seven-figure advance. The premise of the book is this:
"Based on an article Ms. Welch wrote for O, the Oprah Magazine, in 2006, the book offers strategies for making decisions in which people think about what the consequences of a decision will be in 10 minutes, 10 months and 10 years."

The Historian was a run-away best seller; it'll be exciting to see how Welch's "10-10-10" does.