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Law360: Author, Agents Say Advances Only Part Of Puzzle

August 11, 2022


Nonfiction author Charles Duhigg and several agents testified at a federal antitrust trial in which the US Department of Justice is seeking to block a proposed US$2.1 billion merger between Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster. Duhigg told the court that advances on books are not as important in the overall picture, citing his earnings from royalties and speaking engagements. “Advances are one part of the puzzle, but not an important part,” Duhigg said. “You can make so much more money beyond the advance.” During questioning from Megan Smith, counsel to Penguin, Duhigg said that agents have a duty to find the place for a book “where it is going to do best.” Penguin is represented by Smith, Daniel M. Petrocelli, M. Randall Oppenheimer, Andrew Frackman, Abby F. Rudzin, Jonathan Hacker, Courtney Dyer, and Julia Schiller of O’Melveny & Myers LLP.

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