Can Headlines Sink Your Novel?

The Booker Prize, which usually translates into a sales bonanza for the selected work, has failed to have that effect on this year’s winning novel, Alan Hollinghurst’s The Line of Beauty. Only four weeks after the announcement, the novel has disappeared from the list of best-selling original fiction. Mark Sanderson theorizes that “lyrical descriptions of gay sex and a return to the heady days of Thatcherism must have failed to whet the appetities of some readers.” But Michael over at Literary Saloon suggests that the “labelling of it, in headline after headline, as a ‘gay novel’ probably didn’t help.”

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