IRVING WALLACE - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 07/14/1983 - HFSID 264472
Sale Price $180.00
Irving Wallace sends a letter of advice to an author publishing her first novel.
Typed Letter Signed: "Irving Wallace", 1¼ pages, 7½x11 and 7¼x3¾, separate sheets. Los Angeles, California, 1983 July 14. On his personal letterhead to author Erika Holzer.The author, who says he no longer gives quotes, gives advice to an author publishing her first novel.In full: "I did receive both your mailings - and I intended to answer one day when I had time - which I still don't have. I think you will understand the difficulty in responding to incoming mail when you learn that over 2,000 letters come to us every month. Some I mean to answer, but often it takes a year or two. If I tried to do better I'd have to give up writing novels, which I have no intention of ever doing. I wish I could help you but I can't. Ringer was right. I don't give any quotes (and believe me, they are not what sell a novel). I used to hand out quotes to friends, to everyone, and one day my associates said the quotes had begun to look like Confederate money, and urged me to cease and desist. Six years ago I stopped giving quotes - turning down close relatives, close friends, their children, editors, etc. Many people were quite angry about this. Today, should I dare give anyone a quote, the roof would fall on my head. So - sorry. Your letters are intelligent, and paging through you novel it seems interesting (I'll get to it one year and write you then, because I have so much priority research reading to do at present), and the amount of attention you've given your first novel in itself deserves success. But that is not the way it works with novels. There is absolutely no formula I know for putting over a novel. You can do everything on earth - ads, quotes, promotion, and it may not help a bit. The public has to perceive it is interested in the idea of a novel and buy it, and then talk about it. I know Ringer. He's good at what he does best, which is non-fiction, but I don't think he's ever really had a best-selling novel. He is wrong, as you learned, for fiction. Now Putnam is one of the really effective fiction houses. But they are up against what you are: 35,000 new books published every year, and almost 10,000 of them novels. What can you do? I wish I knew. The Guild alternative selection is a good sign, but you won't get any publisher to do more than they are doing. All I can suggest is that you line up a radio-Tv promotion trip from coast to coast, a whirlwind 2-3 weeks, covering key book cities. You'll have to pay for it all yourself, and hire top PRs in NYC, Chicago, LA - but even there you'll have a difficult time because most shows don't like to book fiction, especially fiction by unknowns. But you could try. If you decide to do this, contact my secretary, Carol Gershfield (I'll be abroad), and she'll give you the addresses of publicity people like Bernie Ilson, in NY, Rhoda Charleson, outside Chicago; Gene Shefrin, in LA. You want some advice? This. Never put all you eggs in one book. No matter how discouraged you are, write another and another, until magic happens. There is nothing more I can say. Thank you for you book and kind inscription - and I truly wish you well." Prolific author IRVING WALLACE (1916-1990) produced 16 novels and 17 nonfiction works that sold over 250 million copies worldwide, and he also wrote a dozen screenplays (1953-1959) before turning solely to writing books. Wallace's first major bestseller was The Chapman Report (1960), and his works also include the novels The Prize (1962) and The Word (1972), which were made into a feature film and TV miniseries respectively, and the nonfiction The People's Almanac (first edition published in 1975) and The Book of Lists (first published in 1977). Lawyer turned author ERIKA HOLZER wrote two novels, Double Crossing (1983), a human rights espionage drama, and Eye for an Eye (1994), which was filmed in 1996. She sought endorsements for her 1983 novel from prominent writers of the day. Lightly creased. Second page irregularly cut off beneath signature. Staple holes at upper left blank corners, lightly soiled at blank right margin of first page. Overall, fine condition.
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