• Bookstore
  • Profile
  • Cart
  • Search

Genius Unseen

Jeevan Sivasubramaniam Posted by Jeevan Sivasubramaniam, Managing Director, Editorial, Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.

Genius Unseen

There has long been a rumor that most publishers and agents wouldn't know good writing if it hit them over the head. While this is true in some cases and false in others --as it is with all things, one experiment in 1977 proved to be a sobering wake-up call to both writers and publishers alike.

A freelance writer named Chuck Ross submitted freshly typed copies (initially just parts and then the whole work) of Jerzy Kosinski's 1969 National Book Award winner, Steps, and submitted it as his own. Despite submitting it to fourteen publishers and thirteen literary agents, no one realized it was Kosinski's book and every one of them rejected it.

The whole back story can be read here.