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John Grisham & His $6 Million Mistake

Did you know that legal thriller writer John Grisham lost millions of dollars when he first became a published author? Even though he earned $18 million in 2011, he once held a fortune in first-edition books.

In a guest post on The Daily Beast, Grisham (pictured, via) recounts the events surrounding his first novel, A Time to Kill. His publisher printed 5,000 first edition copies of that book and Grisham bought 1,000 copies to use for giveaways, $5 sales to friends and even as a doorstop. Considering that a first edition of A Time to Kill is now worth $4,000, Grisham once owned $6 million of his own books.

Here’s more from the post: “My idea was, I’d buy a thousand books, have a big book party at the local library, and all my friends would come. I’d sell all these books and it’d be easy. I could buy the books at wholesale, sell them at retail, and make a few bucks … Then I took all the books down to the local library and we had a big book party. When the party was over, I still owned 882 copies of A Time to Kill. I had this invoice that was due to pay for them wholesale, so I started giving books away.”

Grisham has written more than 25 novels. Random House will release Grisham’s latest adult book, Calico Joe, on April 10th. Penguin Young Readers Group will release Grisham’s latest children’s book, Theodore Boone: The Accused, on May 24th.

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