My unscrupulous twin brother, Clip Clifford, called yesterday.
Clip: How can I make a quick buck?
Steve: Write a book titled Altruism.
Clip: I can make money on that?
Steve: Bill Clinton received a $6.3 million advance for his book Giving. Publishers should pay even more for Altruism.
Steve: Clinton did not care about the money. "I wrote this book to encourage you to give whatever you can," he proclaimed, "because everyone can give something."
Clip: Sounds like he didn't even ask for an advance. The publishers probably forced it on him. But I can drive a hard bargain, using $6.3 million as the floor for Altruism.
Steve: And Altruism is only the first book. You can make $20 million more with your three sequels: Benevolence, Charity, and Eleemosynary.
Clip: But wouldn't I be expected to give some money to charity if I write about altruism, benevolence, charity, and eleemosynary?
Steve: Clinton donated $1 million of his $6.3 million advance to charity.
Clip: I knew there was a catch.
Steve: But a close examination of Clinton's giving patterns indicates the money was donated to the Clinton Foundation.
Clip: So I could set up the Clip Foundation, donate 15 percent of my advances to it, and be hailed as a philanthropist?
Clip: Who else gave to the Clinton Foundation?
Steve: Probably people Clinton pardoned. The foundation won't release the names of donors.
Clip: I could learn a lot from this Clinton guy. Did he ever write a book titled Scamming? If so, I want to read it.
Steve: In Giving, Clinton wrote, "Almost everyone – regardless of income, available time, age, and skills – can do something useful for others and, in the process, strengthen the fabric of our shared humanity." The most useful thing you can do for others is to hustle big advances.
Clip: But isn't writing difficult?
Steve: Hire a ghostwriter. You don't think Clinton wrote this drivel himself.
Clip: Hiring a ghostwriter and setting up a foundation still sounds like work. There must be an easier way to make a quick buck.
Steve: You could give speeches.
Clip: There's money in speeches?
Steve: In the past seven years, Bill Clinton made $52 million giving speeches.
Clip: If Clinton ever authors a book titled Getting, let me know. But would people pay for my speeches? I'm not an ex-president.
Steve: But you're a noted liar and perjurer.
Clip: People will pay millions for speeches from a noted liar and perjurer?