Six Sensational Advances Through The Years

by |June 3, 2013

Just to remind us all about how important books are, we put together a list of the most incredible advances given to authors in recent times.

It makes you want to start writing your plot summary right now!


Frederick Forsyth

Received $3 million for The Fourth Protocol.

He was also given 250,000 pounds for The Devil’s Alternative purely on the strength of the synopsis.

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Frederick Forsyth


Tom Wolfe

Received a $7.5-million advance for A Man in Full. The 742 page novel that took him eleven years to write.

It had a 1.2 million first print run, a $500,000 marketing budget and Rolling Stone magazine paid $600,000 for the serial rights.

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Tom Wolfe


Colleen McCullough

The Australian bestselling author received $1.9 million in 1978 for the paperback rights to The Thorn Birds.

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Colleen McCullough


Barbara Taylor Bradford

The prolific English novelist received a $27 million advance from HarperCollins in 1992 for her next three novels.

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Barbara Taylor Bradford


Stephen King

The master of horror was offered an advance of $40 million for a three book deal in 1989.

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Stephen King


Tom Clancy

Received $22 million from Berkeley Putnam for the North American rights to Without Remorse in 1992.

In 1997, he was given $75 million for a two book deal with Penguin.

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Tom Clancy

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About the Contributor

Andrew Cattanach is a regular contributor to The Booktopia Blog. He has been shortlisted for The Age Short Story Prize and was named a finalist for the 2015 Young Bookseller of the Year Award. He enjoys reading, writing and sleeping, though finds it difficult to do them all at once.

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