Best Selling Original Rejects
This article that caught my attention over the weekend, ' Ten Best-Selling Books That Were Originally Rejected." via Flavorwire - the list reads as:
Anne of Green Gables
Jonathan Livingston Seagull
The Ginger Man
Chicken Soup for the Soul
Valley of the Dolls
I'll be honest, it surprised me that I didn't recognise a couple of these titles - should I hang my face in shame? Possibly. Probably not. I remember having Jonathan Livingston Seagull shoved at me many years back, I was supposed to read it for an English assignment...but I refused. I recall an old friend of mine travelling across Europe with a dog-eared copy of The Ginger Man, he offered it to me; I refused it. And I can confirm that "Chicken Soup for the Soul" has never crossed my path. So aside from my bare-shame-faced ignorance, my other 'raised eyebrow' moment was recognising that - although I'm keenly aware of a couple of the titles on this list now - I still wouldn't read them.
So, what constitutes a Best Seller? I mean, apart from the obvious gargantuan sales associated with that title. The key to most of these titles is sustained sales over decades of time. Are they, therefore 'Modern Day Classics?' That is another question to ponder. For me, the list is interesting because its a reflection of what was a Best Seller, twenty, thirty, fifty years ago, a footprint, a timeline - call it what you will. And I just wonder, if these titles were released today, would they become 'Best Sellers?' I think 'Best Sellers' capture the mood of audiences for a split second, in a small window of time - and tastes, trends and taboos change. Which is a jolly good thing - because we writerly minded folk have a lot of books that need be written, right? Nod along with me please. Great, get writing then!