Harper Lee’s Career by the Numbers 

Advance for “To Kill a Mockingbird,” sold to publisher J.B. Lippincott in 1959:  $1,000 plus 15% royalties

Advance for the “Mockingbird” film rights, sold in 1961 to Universal Pictures:  $75,000 plus 12.5% of the profits

The film’s production cost:  $2.2 million

Sales of “To Kill a Mockingbird” to date:  more than 40 million

Advance for “Go Set a Watchman,” an early iteration of “To Kill a Mockingbird” published last year by HarperCollins: unknown

Print sales of “Go Set a Watchman” since it went on sale last July, according to Nielsen BookScan:  1.6 million

via Harper Lee’s Career by the Numbers | Speakeasy: WSJ


‘Mocking Bird Call’

Snowed under with fan letters, Harper Lee is stealing time from a new novel-in-progress to write careful answers. Her favorite letter, a little out of the mold, is a roasting from a crank in Oklahoma who heard she was guilty of writing a novel in which an innocent Negro is convicted of raping a moronic white woman. “In this day of mass rape of white women who are not morons,” her accuser demanded, “why is it that you young Jewish authors seek to whitewash the situation?” Will this rate an answer, too? “Oh, yes,” said the author—who is kin to Robert E. Lee. “I think I’ll say, ‘Dear Sir or Madam, somebody is using your name to write dirty letters. You should notify the FBI.’ And I’m going to sign it, Harper Levy.”

via: ‘Mocking Bird Call’: 1961 Profile of Harper Lee | Newsweek