Books: MGMunificence

Last fortnight U.S. authors blinked and dived for their typewriters. The biggest cash literary prize ever was offered to book writers. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer announced that, for the "best book of the year," fiction or nonfiction, it would award $100,000 in advance of publication, add 20¢ for each copy sold above the first 50,000.

M.G.M. knew what it was doing. Movie rights of top best-sellers have recently cost producers more than $100,000. By acquiring the rights before publication, M.G.M. will escape the cut-throat competitive bidding which sends up the price of anything that looks remotely...

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