it could BE different

Selling Red October

Nothing is as real as a dream. The world can change around you, but your dream will not. Responsibilities need not erase it. Duties need not obscure it. Because the dream is within you, no one can take it away. Tom Clancy


All of the major publishing houses, and I suppose most of the minor ones, turned down the opportunity to take on The Hunt for Red October. It was, after all, a voluminous work of extensive technical detail that often seemed disconnected from the plot. Not the typical spy thriller the publishers knew to be successful.

But like any good entrepreneur, Clancy was going to sell anyone who would listen. And so it was that he approached the Naval Institute Press in Annapolis, publisher of such edge of your seat thrillers as Naval Shiphandling, The Marine Officer’s Guide, and The Coast Guardsman’s Manual. Having never published a fiction work before, they were skeptical. After making him cut over 100 pages of technical detail (scary given the level of detail that was still in it!), they gave him $5,000 and published the novel.

Talk about a loss leader sale for Clancy! But he knew it could BE different, if he could just get that first sale.


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This entry was posted on October 3, 2013 by in Entrepreneurs.
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