Ex-President Bill Clinton announced that
he got a $12 million advance from Knopf for a book he
is planning to write. How big was the check he actually
received from Knopf?
"Advance" no longer means money that comes
in advance. The usual practice, only a portion of it
is paid in advance, and the balance is paid according
to a future schedule if contingent conditions are met.
So the balance of the "advance" is simply an the agreed
upon amount that will be paid if the author provides
a book the publisher decided to accept. In Clinton's
case, the fraction paid in advance, which may be less
than ten percent, is a secret— at least until Senator
Hillary Clinton discloses their joint return in 2002.