Lena Dunham's book deal is the talk of the industry.
The 26-year-old creator and star of HBO series "Girls" has apparently sold her unwritten essay collection “Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s Learned” to Random House for more than $3.5 million, according to reports.
Forbes writes that she will probably need to sell around 1 million copies in order to make back her advance - something that Tina Fey's book did by September last year, having spent 23 consecutive weeks on the bestseller lists. But such success is far from guaranteed, especially for a first-time author.
Though most author-publisher deals remain confidential, stories about huge sums paid out for celebrity books occur every few years. They are usually the result of savvy work by literary agents, who aim to pit publishers against one other in a bidding war. "What can I say?" said Dan Strone, who was Jon Stewart, Jerry Seinfeld and Sarah Silverman's literary agent, in an interview with the NY Observer in 2008. "I mean, I don’t make people spend the money."
Here are 11 other eye-watering book advances given to celebrities.
In 2010, the actress <a href="http://www.deadline.com/2010/06/demi-moore-lands-2-million-for-book/">was paid a reported $2 million</a> to write a book for HarperCollins.
The advance for her new book, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/27/casual-vacancy-reviews_n_1918708.html">"The Casual Vacancy,"</a> was <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffbercovici/2012/08/09/women-on-the-rise-among-the-worlds-top-earnings-authors/">reported to be $8 million. </a> (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
The Rolling Stones guitarist <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2007/08/01/people-richards-book-dc-idUSN3125329820070801">was reportedly paid</a> more than $7 million by Little, Brown and Weidenfeld & Nicolson for his memoirs in 2007. The book, "Life," ended up <a href="http://eatthis.inmusic.ca/2011/08/keith-richards-memoir-surpasses-million-sales-mark.html">selling more than a million copies.</a> (AP Photo/Beth A. Keiser, file)
<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/05/us/politics/05clintons.html">The former president's tax return showed</a> that he was given a $15 million advance for his 2004 book "My Life" - more than double the $7 million received by former president George W Bush. Hillary Clinton <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2000/12/16/nyregion/hillary-clinton-book-advance-8-million-is-near-record.html">received around $8 million for her book</a>, in 2000, a record sum at the time. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
The American student charged with, and then cleared of, murder in Italy apparently<a href="http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/jacketcopy/2012/02/amanda-knox-gets-4-million-book-deal.html"> sold her book rights for $4 million</a>. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson/file)
The "30 Rock" comedienne <a href="http://observer.com/2008/10/little-brown-will-publish-tina-fey-book/">received offers</a> of $6 million to write "Bossypants" - the book became a bestseller. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly)
The former Alaskan governor was paid a $1.25 million advance, far less than the $11 million that was originally reported, <a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/content/newsweek/blogs/the-gaggle/2009/10/27/palin-s-book-advance-1-25-million-plus-she-discloses-43k-in-gifts.html">according to The Daily Beast</a>. (AP Photo/Matt York)
<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/03/books/03wolfe.html?_r=0">The journalist and author's next book</a>, out later this month, netted him an advance of nearly $7 million. (AP Photo/Little, Brown and Company)
The New York Observer <a href="http://www.newser.com/story/42931/their-book-deals-snag-big.html">reported</a> that the comedian received more than $7 million for a book deal, also in 2008. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
The comedienne <a href="http://observer.com/2008/11/three-harpercollins-imprints-face-off-for-25-million-sarah-silverman-book/">scored a $2.5 million advance</a> from HarperCollins in 2008. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision for Planned Parenthood Advocacy Project Los Angeles County/AP Images)
Pope John Paul II
The previous pope received <a href="http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/pope-john-paul-ii-receives-record-breaking-advance">a $8.75 million advance</a> from Knopf in 1994 - at the time, a world record. (AP Photo/Isaac Harari/GPO/ File)
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