PUBLISHING: How To Sell a Novel

What makes a best-seller sell—its own worth or somebody else's salesmanship?

Last week E. P. Button & Co., Inc. hoped that it had the answer. Last year it received a manuscript from tall, red-blonde, good-looking Nancy Bruff, 29, wife of Manhattan investment broker Edwin Thurston Clarke. Titled The Manatee, it was a tale of the life and loves of a whaler. Immediately Button's sensed another Forever Amber.

Button's has already spent $20,000, expect to spend at least $40,000 by Christmas for advertising. The ads featured the well-endowed author and the well-endowed ship's figurehead printed on the book's dust jacket. (The New York...

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