Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Everyone who's anyone again

A while back I mentioned one Gerard Jones, who has a web site called Everyone Who's Anyone. This site celebrates the fact that Gerard has tried to sell his memoir, Ginny Good, to almost every agent and publisher in the entire universe. Well, it turns out that eventually he did get it into print; and what's more, he has a fan.

Nicholas Clee is the editor of the Bookseller, and every week or two he writes a column in the Guardian, outlining the latest news from the world publishing industry. In his latest column Nicholas notes that he not only read Gerard's web site but he also made a donation to it, and got a copy of Ginny Good by way of thanks.

Nicholas describes the book as 'a rather wonderful memoir'. It is, he says, 'direct, funny and touching.' But he cannot, he adds, condemn the hundreds of literary agents and publishers who declined to take it on. Such books are hard to market. And for what it's worth, I can testify to that from my own publishing experience. No matter how 'good' such a book is, in the abstract, nobody wants it. Despite the odd exception -- Angela's Ashes, Wild Swans, et cetera -- such books do not normally sell.

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