August 01, 1994 : Pope John Paul II receives record-breaking advance

Introduction

Newspapers report on this day in 1994 that publishing house Alfred A. Knopf will pay Pope John Paul II a record-breaking $8.75 million advance for his new book, Crossing the Threshold of Hope. The book, a collection of essays addressing moral and theological questions, becomes a bestseller.

The figure exceeded the previous record set when Random House paid Army General Colin Powell some $6 million for his autobiography, My American Journey, which became one of the fastest selling books in America. Other multimillion-dollar book deals in the early 1990s included autobiographies of Ronald Reagan and Marlon Brando. Oprah Winfrey also received a multimillion-dollar advance for her autobiography, but she withdrew from the deal in 1993.

Another publishing record was set on this day in 1975, when E.L. Doctorow received $1.85 million for the paperback rights to Ragtime.

Article Details:

August 01, 1994 : Pope John Paul II receives record-breaking advance

  • Author

    History.com Staff

  • Website Name

    History.com

  • Year Published

    2009

  • Title

    August 01, 1994 : Pope John Paul II receives record-breaking advance

  • URL

    http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/pope-john-paul-ii-receives-record-breaking-advance

  • Access Date

    November 19, 2017

  • Publisher

    A+E Networks