Toni Morrison

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at dennyhatch.com.

When I saw that the 2008 rate for a speech by Larry Summers was $45,000 to $135,000, I got to thinking.

Out of curiosity, I started prowling the various Web sites of speakers' bureaus and came to six conclusions:

  1. It seems everybody in the world is available for speeches. Included are political and show business stars, second and third bananas, and hundreds upon hundreds of people I never heard of.
  2. All of these people—luminaries and nobodies—get fees from $1,000 to $1 million, plus expenses.
  3. I used to make a lot of speeches, and all I ever got was expenses and a plaque with my name engraved on it.
  4. I was a damned fool. I was as much a nobody as anybody else and could've picked up some dough if I'd just asked.
  5. If someone invites you to make a speech, think about asking for an honorarium at the very least, if not a fat fee, plus expenses. For Colin Powell, expenses include a private jet along with his $100,000 fee.
  6. The worst that can happen is that no money in the budget exists for fees or expenses. If you refuse, someone will replace you.

As Time Warner Goes, So Goes TIME IN THE NEWS Despite recent major world events like the London terrorist bombings in July and the late December tsunami in Thailand, newsweeklies continued to struggle for the first half of the year. Time magazine, published by Time Inc., saw circulation remain flat for the period at 4.05 million, while newsstand sales dipped 3.4 percent to 157,217 copies. Newsweek saw its newsstand sales plummet 14 percent to 126,163, while total paid circulation rose 1.8 percent to 1.05 million. --Stephanie D. Smith "ABC: Celeb Titles Enjoy Circ Gains" MEDIAWEEK.COM, Aug. 16, 2005 NEW YORK - Financier Carl Icahn

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