Gotcha Journalism

Yesterday’s Publisher’s Lunch (subscribe from here) reported on a bit of gotcha journalism by the London Times, “one of those periodic ambush articles”

in which the reporters make themselves feel wonderfully superior by submitting two Booker-winning novels from the 70s anonymously to 20 publishers and agents. (One is VS Naipaul’s IN A FREE STATE; the other is Stanley Middleton’s A FREE STATE.)

Surprise, surprise, none of the publishers offered the anonymous submitters a $1 million advance.

Publishers toss Booker winners into the reject pile.

What would be really interesting, though, would be to resubmit a couple of novels that didn’t quite make the Booker Prize grade and see if they could land a deal.

Mrs. E.D.E.N. Southworth had a nice run in the late 1800’s. How about submitting For Women’s Love?

Rothsay left the talkative hackman and passed on. [ed. No, Mrs. S. didn’t mean to suggest he died.]

A hand touched him on the arm.

He turned and saw old Scythia, clothed in a long, black coat of some thin stuff, with its hood drawn over her head.

Rothsay stared.

“Come, Rule! You have tested woman’s love to-day, and found it fail you; even as I tested man’s faith in the long ago, and found it wrong me! Come, Rule! You and I have had enough of falsehood and treachery! Let us shake the dust of civilization off our shoes! Come, Rule!”

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