Friday, April 16, 2010

Pulitzer Redux

Today I read a fascinating article in yesterday's Boston Globe about the the 2010 Pulitzer Prize winning book Tinkers. Now I'm even more excited to read this book.
Not only is Tinkers Paul Harding's first novel (!) it was published, not by a giant in the publishing world, but by a small publishing house. - Bellevue Literary Press. And its initial run was a paltry 3,500 copies. And Harding's advance? A meager $1,000 (apparently a tiny fraction of the typical advance). So how did this novel, which was originally rejected and then sat in a drawer for three years, not only get published, but win the Pulitzer? Word of mouth! I kid you not. It was a real grassroots effort sparked by "personal interactions between publishers, booksellers, and reviewers that launched the book the old-fashioned way." Wow! I love this!

And what's even more unbelievable is that no one called Harding to tell him he had won. He, of course, didn't even dream that he would be the winner and he found out when he checked online to see who had won! OMG! If this isn't a quintessential American success story, I don't know what is. Congratulations to Paul Harding. What a way to make your debut in the publishing world.

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