Stephen Romei, ALR editor August 04, 2009
Article from: The Australian
Mr Howard has delivered draft chapters of his memoirs to publisher HarperCollins, which paid the former prime minister an advance of about $400,000 for what will be the most anticipated Australian political book of recent times.
Publisher Amruta Slee told The Australian Mr Howard was "writing like crazy" and was on track to deliver a full first draft of at least 200,000 words before the end of the year. HarperCollins hopes to have the book in the stores by November next year, three years after Australia's second-longest-serving prime minister lost government and his seat of Bennelong in Kevin Rudd's resounding election win.
"He has sent in early chapters, not in chronological order, and asked 'Is the voice OK?"' Ms Slee said.
"It's good. He has an amazing eye for detail and remembers everything. We're aiming for 200,000 words but if he goes to 210,000, 230,000, we can live with that."
Ms Slee would not comment on Mr Howard's advance but publishing sources said it was at least $400,000. It is understood that Mr Howard, who negotiated his own deal without using an agent, secured escalation clauses that would see his royalty percentage rise if sales pass set benchmarks, such as 30,000 and 50,000 copies. Usually an author's cut is 10 per cent.