Penguin Group is seeking repayment of nearly $577,000 paid to writers in advance for the promise of books. The odd part that most are noticing is the low amount they are looking to recoup, all under $100,000 and one around the $12,000 mark.
Now, I know that to some of you that sounds like a ton of money. Hell, that last amount alone could change my way of life significantly (Hint: I'd buy top shelf bread rather than the day old stuff.) But as the article linked below points out, think about the professional writer who looks at that money not as a boon, but as half to a year's salary while he/she toils over their manuscript.
So why is Penguin Group trying to get that cash back? Are they doing the literary equivalent of checking under the seat cushions for loose change? Do they have a book deal on the horizon that may just change their budget? Say, how's that new Rowling book doing... "I wonder if she'd do another Harry Potter," he implies pointedly.