Toby Young, the British exile and former Vanity Fair writer whose mildly amusing book How To Lose Friends and Alienate People is now being turned into a (doubtless middling) movie, is concerned about how hard it is for even famous writers to make any serious money in America these days. Except for Toby Young himself, of course, who is getting paid to write cute little missives back to the UK about how hard it is for even famous writers to make any serious money in America these days. "I'm currently in the Hamptons," he starts off:
"The days when Sag Harbor was known as a writers' colony are over," says a local estate agent. "They can't afford the rent any more." Indeed, to rent a three-bedroom cottage from Memorial Day to Labor Day (the period that constitutes the summer in America) now costs at least $75,000. Part of the problem is that the book-publishing business is in dire straits... According to one New Yorker staffer, "It is becoming increasingly tough to score a decent advance, even as a household name."
Luckily Toby Young was able to use a tiny fraction of his movie money to secure a spot on the front lines of the Hamptons to bring this news to the people of the UK. Meanwhile Adam Gopnik can't even get $250K for his next book of essays on raising children like the French! Where's the justice? [Independent UK. Toby Young's most notable contribution to American culture was actually just to play party host to our own Ian Spiegelman.]