Writing Made Them Rich #3: Richard Bach
One day in the mid-1970's a young man stumbled into adiner somewhere in the United Sates.
Slung over his shoulder was a kit-bag that containedeverything he owned. He was unshaven and needed ashower badly. He had very little money, but enough fora phone call.
He rang his bank and asked how much was in hisaccount. A woman's voice informed him - to hisamazement - that the balance in his account was fourmillion, three hundred thousand dollars.
His name was Richard Bach. Six months before, he hadsubmitted a short story, barely 10,000 words long, toa New York publisher.
For the last three months he had been living the lifeof a nomadic 'barnstormer', taking people on joy ridesfor $5 a flight and sleeping in fields under the wing ofhis bi-plane.
Hardly able to believe what he had just heard, he rangthe New York publisher to whom he had sent themanuscript.
"Where on earth are you?" asked a woman's voice."We've been looking for you for three months! Radioand TV want interviews with you, a publisher in Spainwants to buy the Spanish rights to your book..."
He had been completely unaware that his shortmanuscript, titled 'Jonathon Livingstone Seagull',had become a runaway best-seller.
Unfortunately, this success story had a sad sequel.Like many people who suddenly become wealthy, RichardBach knew very little about managing money. Heentrusted his new-found fortune to a financial advisorwho led him astray, to the tune of millions ofdollars.
Within a few years he was broke, and With the IRShounding him for unpaid taxes he was forced to declarehimself bankrupt. He signed away all future earningsfrom 'Jonathon Livingstone Seagull' to thegovernment, as well as the rights to any future books he might write, and began the arduous task ofrebuilding his life.
But there was a happy ending: he sacked his financialadvisor and wrote a string of new books that were alsobest-sellers: within a few years he was solventagain and able to buy back the rights to all hisbooks.
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