If I asked you to name some of the people who have commanded the highest book advances of all time, you'd likely think of Presidents, Kings, Queens, business titans, religious leaders, etc. And you'd be right! Some individuals who have received extremely large book deals include former President Bill Clinton, Pope John Paul II, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan… and now, Amy Schumer!
That's right, comedian Amy Schumer is now one of the highest paid authors in history thanks to the advance she just received from Simon & Schuster's imprint Gallery Books. Amazingly, the current working title of the book is The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo.
The desire to acquire the rights to publish Amy's book set off a bit of a bidding war among several New York-based publishing companies. The opening price of $3 million was almost exactly halfway between the $2.5 million received by Sarah Silverman and the $3.7 million received Lena Dunham last year.
Turns out, Amy is a hotter commodity than Silverman and Dunham – combined! Bidding quickly shot to $4 million, then $5 million, then $6 million… When all was said and done, Gallery Books won the war with an offer that has Amy laughing all the way to the bank.
Their winning bid? $9 million.
At $9 million, Amy now officially holds the record for the third biggest book advance of all time. It tops fellow comedian Tina Fey's $6 million advance for Bossypants and Jerry Seinfeld's $7 million advance for Seinlanguage. Amy also beats out Pope John Paul II, George W. Bush, and Keith Richards.
The only people who have received larger book advances are Bill and Hillary Clinton, who were paid $15 million and $14 million, respectively, for the rights to their biographies.
20 Notable Book Advances:
#20: Sarah Palin: Going Rogue – $1.25 million
#19: Chelsea Handler: Are You There Vodka? It's Me Chelsea – $2 million
#18: Demi Moore: (yet-to-be-titled future book) – $2 million
#17: Dick Cheney: In My Time – $2 million
#16: Sarah Silverman: The Bedwetter – $2.5 million
#15: Lena Dunham: (yet-to-be-titled future book) – $3.7 million
#14: Amanda Knox: Waiting to be Heard – $4 million
#13: Tiny Fey: Bossypants – $6 million
#12: Tom Wolfe: Back to Blood – $7 million
#11: Jerry Seinfeld: Seinlanguage – $7 million
#10: George W. Bush: Decision Points – $7 million
#9: Jack Welch: Straight From The Gut – $7.1 million
#8: Keith Richards: Life – $7.7 million
#7: JK Rowling: The Casual Vacancy – $8 million
#6: Hillary Clinton: Living History – $8 million
#5: Alan Greenspan: The Age of Turbulence – $8.5 million
#4: Pope John Paul II: In My Own Words – $8.75 million
#3: Amy Schumer: The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo – $9 million
#2: Hillary Clinton: (yet-to-be-titled future book) – $14 million
#1: Bill Clinton: My Life – $15 million
Congrats to Amy!
Maybe someday a publishing company will pay me $9 million for the rights to my memoir. Here are some titles I would like to propose:
You're Getting Warner
Bri… And You Shall Succeed
The One Hour Work Week
This Book Is Net Worth Your Time
Dreams Of My Father – The Audacity Of Starting A Website About Rich People… In Order To Get Rich Myself
I think that's the winner.