Just how big is Pearson PLC's commitment to Tom Clancy? Try a record-breaking nine figures. PW has learned that Clancy will receive about $50 million for a previously announced two-book, world-English rights deal with Putnam and Pearson for his next two novels, as well as another $25 million for a four-year book/multimedia deal with his Red Storm Entertainment unit (Publishers Weekly News, Aug. 11). In addition, Berkley has just announced a deal for 24 paperbacks to tie in with the upcoming ABC miniseries Tom Clancy's NetForce, in an agreement worth around $22 million.

Clancy's agent, William Morris executive v-p Robert Gottlieb, wouldn't confirm specific figures in the various deals, but did say that together they "exceed $100 million, a record for an author. I don't know of anyone who comes even close."Gottlieb told PW that Clancy's last two novels -- Debt of Honor and Executive Orders -- completed what had been a eight-figure four-book deal that was to include two nonfiction works, which Clancy decided to cancel. Later, in 1995, Clancy signed another four-book, eight-figure deal with Putnam for the nonfiction series The Commanders, of which Into the Storm, written with General Fred Franks Jr. (May 1997), is the first. Clancy's new two-book contract will be for novels featuring favorite Clancy characters Jake Ryan and John Clark. No publication dates have been set for what will be a simultaneous U.S./U.K. Pearson/Putnam releases.

The Berkley paperback deal is to tie in to Tom Clancy's Netforce, a dramatic miniseries created by Clancy and Steve Pieczenik, who collaborated with Clancy on his NBC miniseries Op-Center and four related Berkley paperback titles. Tom Clancy's Netforce is a property of Netco Partners, a 50/50 joint venture between C.P. Group, the venture between Clancy and Pieczenik, and BIG Entertainment, producers of other entertainment properties by a number of bestselling authors. BIG Entertainment chairman and CEO Mitchell Rubenstein told PW that a toy license has already been lined up for action figures tied into Tom Clancy's Netforce and that Netco would develop other properties in the future.

The Berkley paperback deal is officially with Netco Partners and calls for six adult novels and 18 young adult novels -- the latter a new genre for Clancy, said the publisher. Berkley will begin releasing the titles as soon as the miniseries airs.