‘Post’: Goulian Memoir Selling Short

Jon-Jon Goulian's book cover.

Jon-Jon Goulian's book cover.

The New York Post this morning wrote of Jon-Jon Goulian’s “pre-crash deal” with Random House–the reported $700,000 advance for a book that, despite its ample publicity, has been “notably absent from best-seller lists.” The Post quotes a figure of 957 copies sold of Mr. Goulian’s memoir of gender confusion, a figure Nielsen Bookscan quoted to The Observer as 1,000 sold.

It is earlyish in the book’s run (The Man in the Gray Flannel Skirt was released just over a month ago), and Mr. Goulian has been promoting the book with in-person events. But short of a book by a celebrity and his co-author (Chaz Bono’s memoir of a different sort of gender confusion, Transition, was released a week before Mr. Goulian’s memoir and has sold, per Nielsen Bookscan, 6,000 copies), any book by an emerging author is a hard sell, no matter the publicity. Well-loved blogger Matthew Gallaway posed with Mr. Goulian for Out and has written much on the subject of publishing for The Awl; his novel The Metropolis Case, released in December 2010, has sold (per Nielsen Bookscan) 2,000 copies, though his advance was surely a bit under $700,000.

ddaddario@observer.com :: @DPD_


  1. Joejt says:

    It’s about time that the New York publishing world awakens to the reality that the memoirs, whether honest or made up, about dysfunction are not what intelligent readers want any longer. We’ve had enough of that, especially given the realization that James Frey was far from the only one who just made stuff up and had the so-called sophisticated editors on the Avenue of the Americas swallowing it hook, line and sinker.