How Amy Schumer Negotiated a Multi-Million-Dollar Raise
Hot on the heels of her big Emmy win last month, news broke that Amy Schumer had landed a massive book deal with Simon & Schuster.
And though the exact figure hasn’t been released, insiders say that the publisher shelled out more than $8 million for the book of humorous essays. That's a good deal more than Schumer received for her last book deal. That's right, in the span of three years, Amy Schumer negotiated herself a multi-million-dollar raise.
The New York Times reports that back in 2013, before Schumer's show was a hit, before she met Judd Apatow, and before she became BFFs with Jennifer Lawrence, HarperCollins bought the rights to Amy’s first book. The price tag back then was a mere $1 million. Schumer took the deal and, with the help of New Yorker writer Patricia Marx, set about making good on her promise to HarperCollins. But in 2014, a year after Inside Amy Schumer premiered, the comedian canceled her contract and returned the money.
Is HarperCollins at all bitter that it missed out on the chance to capitalize on Schumer’s success? Not a bit. Michael Morrison, the president and publisher of HarperCollins, told The New York Times, "Amy is driven, hysterical and really has her pulse on the culture. She deserves all her success and is obviously smart; she knew that delaying her book would reap huge benefits when the time was right." David Hirshey, senior vice president and executive editor of HarperCollins, said a little more acerbically, "I was thrilled to cost one of our competitors $9 million. In publishing it sometimes makes more sense to be behind the curve rather than ahead of it."
That huge paycheck bump means that Schumer's book is officially more valuable than Lena Dunham's, which controversially scored the Girls creator a $3.5 million dollar advance. And Schumer even outstripped the reportedly $6 million dollar advance Tina Fey received for "Bossypants" back in 2008. "For years now, every agent in town would use the Tina Fey advance as the benchmark for what their celebrity client was worth," Morrison said. "Now the bar is sitting atop Amy's head. I can't tell you how frustrating those conversations will be for us all." Continuing to push the bar for women in comedy? That sounds like our Amy.
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