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When Successful Authors Can’t Get Published At Home

What do Douglas Kennedy, Sue Margolis, Francesca Simon and James Flint all have in common? As the Sunday Times found out, these authors are successes elsewhere, but can’t get published in their home country (in Kennedy’s case, his publishing plight was recently highlighted by Time Magazine, and I have to say, it’s probably time he got published again here.) Take Simon’s Horrid Henry series: in Britain, sales of the series top 8.8 million, and Henry has brothers in 23 languages – including the papishly monikered Koszmarni Karolek in Poland and the devilishly rhyming Pablo Diablo in Spain.

Yet in her home country Simon is still searching for a publisher. Scholastic refused to pick up the series because it was deemed “too British”: Americans, she was told, wouldn’t identify with it. Margolis has the opposite problem as her chick-lit style novels are published regularly in the US but not in the UK. “It does leave you feeling a bit rejected, in a childish sort of way,” she said. “It’s as if I’m not allowed to play with the kids in my neighborhood. Then again, I make a very good living out of being successful in America.”

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