Two tomes net Clancy $45 mil

Scribe returns to Putnam

Mega-bestselling author Tom Clancy has inked a two-book deal with Putnam said to be worth about $45 million.

Clancy, who abandoned his long-standing William Morris agent Robert Gottlieb for AMG last month, has renewed ties to the publisher that has stuck by him since his second novel, “Red Storm Rising,” in 1986.

Putnam, which will take North American rights, has increased Clancy’s fee a fraction higher than the $40 million it paid him for his last two books.

Clancy’s latest novel, “The Bear and the Dragon,” is the top-selling hardcover fiction title in America.

Putnam will receive one novel featuring series hero Jack Ryan and another that’s a modern-day Jack the Ripper story.

Highest advance

Advance is among the highest ever paid to an author, eclipsing the five-book, $64 million deal Mary Higgins Clark struck with Simon & Schuster last April.

In 1997, when publishers balked at the $17 million Stephen King was reportedly seeking for the novel “Bag of Bones,” King struck an unusual backend, three-book deal with Scribner, taking a lower advance and net profit participation in lieu of royalties.

In pursuing that deal, King left his long-standing publisher Viking, a division of Penguin-Putnam. Putnam’s decision to pay Clancy so steep an advance for his next two novels may reflect the fear of losing another of its major revenue creators.

Sources at Putnam didn’t return calls for comment.

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