Savisaar's Royalties Raise Eyebrows ({{commentsTotal}})

Source: Photo: Postimees/Scanpix

If politician Edgar Savisaar offset a 170,000-euro loan using royalties from his books, that would make him one of the highest grossing authors in Estonian history, say publishers and writers.

Editor of the Tänapäev publishing house Tauno Vahter said the Tallinn mayor and Center Party leader would have had to sell around 100,000 copies of his books, the most recent one of which was "The Truth About Estonia."

"If we take the information reported in the media, a simple calculation shows that to get that much royalties the sales would have had to be 100,000 copies. Usually a book's print run in these days is 1,000 copies," said Vahter.

Vahter said the biggest figures were 30,000-40,000 copies.

Savisaar attorney Oliver Nääs said the royalties are from not only "Truth" but five other books in the same series, some yet to be published. They will be available in three languages and in three countries.

Head of the OÜ Midfield, the publisher of Truth, said over 5,000 copies of Truth had been sold.

Karl Martin Sinijärv, the head of the Writers Union, said typically writers get about a month's salary from writing a book. Sinijärv said he didn't recall a case where someone got more than 3,000 euros in royalties.

Savisaar has said through his attorneys that a loan from businessman Peter Keiser that did not appear on the declaration of economic interests had been repaid.

In this case, Nääs said, the loan was issued against future royalties.