Thursday, February 11, 2016

How Valley of the Dolls went from a reject to a 30-million best-seller

Valley of the Dolls
Valley of the Dolls, by Jacqueline Susann, is 50 years old in February 2016 Credit: Rex Features

Even by the standards of a cold rejection letter, the one Jacqueline Susann received from publishers Geis Associates in 1965 was brutal.

Her novel Valley of the Dolls was dismissed as "painfully dull, inept, clumsy, undisciplined, rambling and thoroughly amateurish". So how did such a poor book go on to be registered in The Guinness Book of World Records in the late Sixties as the world's most popular novel? The success of Valley of the Dolls – to date more than 30 million copies have been sold worldwide – is a tale of one of the most tenacious and sharp-eyed publishing campaigns of all time.

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