Books: Mrs. Howard's Hunch

"Is good pay to be author?" asks the Norwegian father in Broadway's current hit I Remember Mama. "For magazines," answers all-wise Mama, "I think maybe yes. For books I think no."

On the whole, Mama is right. Except for the rare few which become bestsellers, novels are not big moneymakers. First novels seldom do more than pay publication costs. Yet writers go on dreaming of striking it rich—and sometimes it happens, as it just did to a plump, middle-aged Florida housewife whose first novel brought her $145,000 before publication.

The lucky author is Mrs....

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