His first novel, The Man Who Rode By Night, written when he was a teenager, was a 40,000-word Western for which he was paid the princely sum of a guinea per thousand words.
That’s £5,000 these days. And a no name teenager writing a penny Western really isn’t going to get that sort of sum as a fee.
Heck, if that was the fee then you’d be seeing edition 504 of my westerns by now….
Not that it was all loadsamoney being a writer:
When Sharples submitted his first television script, shortly before ITV went on air in 1955, he was told that he would receive no fee as, after all the payments to actors, there would be no money left. When he asked why the actors were being paid and he was not, he was told: “Because the bastards have a union.”