CONRAD RICHTER AS AUTHOR

Financial Records

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Like many Americans, Richter and his family had to struggle financially in the 1920s and 1930s. At the time, Richter wrote for the pulps as a way of earning income. He kept scrupulous records of his financial earnings. This impulse to keep records can be seen in the way he keeps track of inscriptions in books as well as his wife's and his health in his journal entries. Richter's records give us a bit of insight into his personal earnings at the time as well as some sense of what writers for pulps were receiving for their work. This information can be seen in the records he kept of his sales through Brandt and Sanders.

Additionally, Richter kept track of how much money his stories and novels earned both through advances and royalties. For example, a sheet with the heading The Lady, includes entries from February 1956 through July 1958. There are two columns of numbers--the first being perhaps the actual amount received, the second perhaps being how much Richter kept after taxes and/or agents' fees? There are entries for the serial rights to the Saturday Evening Post as well as abridgments for the Readers Digest. The novel first was serialized in the Post in 1957 and subsequently published by Knopf. In six months, Richter had the best sales of his career at that point with more than 22,000 copies sold.2


The Waters of Kronos | Correspondence | Inscriptions | Richter and Goedecke | Financial Records | Study Guide