Books: Shaking the Money Tree

THE THORN BIRDS

by COLLEEN McCULLOUGH 530 pages. Harper & Row. $9.95.

Well before its publication, this second novel by a hitherto obscure Australian had become an economic event. Harper & Row ran off 225,000 hardback copies and put up $100,000 as an initial advertising budget. The Literary Guild made the book its main selection for June, relegating Erich Segal's Oliver's Story, a dead-certain moneymaker, to second place. Avon Books shelled out $1.9 million for paperback reprint rights, topping the record $1.85 million that Bantam Books paid for E.L. Doctorow's Ragtime two years ago....

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!