Huge advance allows 93-year-old author to move into larger home

It's been the feel-good story in the news during the past few days: 93-year-old Lorna Page was living in a retirement home small apartment until she secured a large advance for her thriller, A Dangerous Weakness. Amazingly, it was her first book! The money has allowed her to buy a five-bedroom house, and she's invited some of her friends from the living in a retirement home to come live with her.

But Ray Girvan of Apothecary's Drawer Weblog asks a good question. Where did this huge advance come from, given that AuthorHouse is a self-publishing firm? They don't pay huge advances. Instead, authors pay them to get published.

The Making Light blog reaches this conclusion: Someone is fibbing.

Correction: Ray pointed out to me that "The newspapers didn't say she *herself* moved out of a care home. They said she moved from an apartment into a larger house, and plans to use it to move her friends out of care home." So I've corrected the above text.

Actually, reading the article more carefully (and reading between the lines a bit), I'm guessing that what happened was that Lorna Page moved into the larger home using money she already had, but she's hoping she'll strike it rich from the book and that she'll be able to use the proceeds to pay off the house. The poor woman obviously has no idea how little writers make.


Posted on Mon Aug 11, 2008


From the Making Light link:

"Even if the book was selling gangbusters, even if AuthorHouse paid royalties monthly, even if it sold a ton of copies, there
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Tue Aug 12, 2008  at  01:44 AM
I read about that on the Writer Beware blog. They reached the conclusion that the stories are just the result of sloppy journalism.
Posted by Yoyogod  on  Tue Aug 12, 2008  at  08:58 AM
"...The poor woman obviously has no idea how little writers make."

Um, we wouldn't have any personal experience in this area, would we, Alex?
Posted by Big Gary  on  Tue Aug 12, 2008  at  01:10 PM
You mean that writers don't all become millionaires overnight?!? Aaaaaaa! Help! I'm being disillusioned! Nooooo!

*clings desperately to his wordprocessor*

It certainly sounds as though some wires got crossed in the researching and reporting of that article.
Posted by Accipiter  on  Tue Aug 12, 2008  at  06:00 PM
> how little writers make.

How midget writers make what?

Something got cut off.

Posted by Oloodyhell  on  Thu Aug 14, 2008  at  12:58 AM
Good one Oloodyhell
Posted by Christopher Cole  on  Thu Aug 14, 2008  at  12:32 PM
Ms Page, and her daughter-in-law Cate Allen, have now both commented that Ms Page paid AuthorHouse to get published, and didn't receive any advance at all.

It might be good publicity for her book, but it's going to lead more naive writers to AuthorHouse.
Posted by Jane Smith  on  Fri Aug 15, 2008  at  01:19 AM
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