And so the quest begins to ensure my novel rises to the surface of the ebook ocean and does NOT end up as one of a trillion tear drops. My biggest fan has provided yet another reason why the Ebook route is the best for emerging, talented authors. A MUST READ for all of us trying to break into the biz!
Facts and Fakes
Considering Eliot Weinberger’s Genuine Fakes
Eliot Weinberger’s short piece, Genuine Fakes, most recently published in his collection Karmic Traces (New Directions, 2000), begins:
About ten years after it was published, an energetic young man retyped Jerzy Kosinski’s 1965 prize-winning novel, The Painted Bird, gave the manuscript a new title, and submitted it to a dozen American publishers. None of them, including Kosinski’s own publisher, recognized the book, and all of them rejected it.
“It was good joke,” Weinberger adds, “and a telling comment on how books get published, but the story does not end there.” Indeed not. But the story also begins elsewhere.
In his piece Weinberger offers a simplified account of the joke: a nameless energetic young man, an unidentified new title, faceless publishers. He even begins with an approximation: “About ten years after it was published …..” The anecdote — the point — perhaps does not require more.
The facts have been well-documented elsewhere. Time magazine brought a little piece on it in 1979. Chuck Ross — the perpetrator — published an account of it in New Westmagazine. And James Park Sloan describes it in his biography of Kosinski (Dutton, 1996). What actually occurred was: in 1975 Chuck Ross typed up some 20 pages of Kosinski’s novel and submitted them as a sample chapter to four publishers, including Houghton Mifflin, who were Kosinski’s publishers at that time. Rejected by all of them, Ross repeated the experiment in 1978-9, this time submitting the entire manuscript to 14 publishers and 13 literary agents. Again, all of them turned it down, and apparently none of them recognized it.
This story simply reinforces my decision to go the Ebook route AND to bust a sweat telling y’all about it. Last but not least, thanks to all who responded to my first blogging effort. Writing has always come easily to me, tooting my horn less so. I’m sure a lot of you feel the same way, let’s talk about it!