Marketplace, November 2006

Pynchon book will sell itself

Marketplace, ​November 20, 2006

by Lisa Napoli

[CORRECTION: Thomas Pynchon was incorrectly cited as a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist in this story. He was recommended for a Pulitzer in 1974 for his book “Gravity’s Rainbow,” but did not win.]


SCOTT JAGOW: Tomorrow, novelist Thomas Pynchon comes out with his first book in nine years. Pynchon is famously media shy. Lisa Napoli has more.

LISA NAPOLI: You might think it’s hard to promote a book whose author refuses to do any sort of publicity whatsoever.

Tracy Locke of the Penguin Press says when it comes to the elusive Thomas Pynchon, the mysteriousness works.

TRACY LOCKE: There is no challenge whatsoever in trying to promote Pynchon. This book will be everywhere.

Locke says she’s seeing advance sales for Pynchon usually reserved for commercial bestsellers.

Literary agent Ted Weinstein says buzz and bucks are unusual for literary fiction.

TED WEINSTEIN: In book publishing the rule is you need an author to be their own publicity and promotions machine.

Pynchon’s last novel “Mason and Dixon” sold out its first run of 175,000 copies in six weeks.

In Los Angeles, I’m Lisa Napoli for Marketplace.