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The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing, 3rd Edition by Writer's Digest Writer's Digest Editors

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Chapter Thirty-Six

Literary Lust Versus Commercial Cash

Earning Respect and an Income

Jodi Picoult

I remember the moment I crossed over to the Dark Side.

It was after I’d published my second book at a big New York publisher that had a reputation for publishing classics or works that would one day become classics. As with most literary contracts, they had the right of first refusal on my next novel.

“Well,” they said after they read it, “we’ll publish it if no one else wants to.”

Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

My agent took the manuscript to a publishing house that, philosophically, was diametrically opposed to my current one. It was known for its domination of The New York Times bestseller list, with so many brand-name authors under its roof ...

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