April 17, 2024

Media Decoder: Lena Dunham Signs Book Deal for More Than $3.5 Million

Random House has acquired a book by Lena Dunham, the 26-year-old writer, actor and filmmaker, in one of the most heated auctions of the year.

The debut essay collection, “Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s Learned,” was hotly pursued by publishers after Ms. Dunham, the writer and star of the HBO comedy “Girls,” circulated a 66-page proposal with color, illustrations and a humor that publishing executives predicted could produce another best seller like Tina Fey’s blockbuster memoir, “Bossypants.”

Bidding climbed past $3.5 million, several publishers who were involved in the negotiations said. Theresa Zoro, a spokeswoman for Random House, declined to comment on the advance.

Ms. Dunham chose Random House Publishing Group over the weekend after meeting with several publishers as late as Friday afternoon. The deal was negotiated by Gina Centrello, president and publisher of the Random House Publishing Group. Ms. Dunham was represented by Kimberly Witherspoon, a literary agent with Inkwell Management.

Susan Kamil, the editor-in-chief and publisher of Random House, confirmed the acquisition on Monday, saying in a statement, “We’re thrilled to welcome Lena to Random House. Her skill on the page as a writer is remarkable—fresh, wise, so assured. She is that rare literary talent that will only grow from strength to strength and we look forward to helping her build a long career as an author.”

Random House described the book as “in the tradition of Helen Gurley Brown, David Sedaris, and Nora Ephron,” offering “frank and funny advice on everything from sex to eating to traveling to work.” Random House bought U.S. and Canadian rights to the book.

According to the proposal, a copy of which was obtained by the Times, the book will cover topics like work, friendship, travel, sex, love and mortality. One chapter is described as “an account of some radically and hilariously inappropriate ways I have been treated at work/by professionals because of my age and gender.”

Another chapter, titled “Body,” reads, “Red lipstick with a sunburn: How to dress for a business meeting and other hard-earned fashion lessons from the size 10 who went to the Met Ball.”

The essay collection will be edited by Andy Ward, an executive editor at Random House.

Ms. Dunham said in a statement that she was “thrilled to be working with and learning from the brilliant minds at Random House, and to be among their incredible roster of authors. I look forward to digging deep with Andy and co. to produce the most thoughtful and personal book I can.”

Article source: http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/08/lena-dunham-sings-book-deal-for-more-than-3-5-million/?partner=rss&emc=rss