Emily Gould May Have Sold Her Essay Collection

By Neal Comment

Like many of you, I saw the late-Friday speculation about the million-dollar payday for Emily Gould‘s essay collection and found it less than plausible, even before Emily debunked the story.

But yesterday’s rumor, about a $350,000 offer from a specific editor at a specific house, makes a lot more sense—although it should be noted that, as of 6 p.m. last night, Amber Qureshi would neither confirm nor deny the proposition that she’d bought And the Heart Says… Whatever for the Free Press. (An attempt to contact Emily for verification was unsuccessful.) Since arriving at the Free Press, Qureshi’s demonstrated a keen interest in nonfiction works with keenly personal components that speak to larger issues, by writers like Joshua Clark and Nani Power, and it’s not too difficult to see where Emily’s essays might fit into that portfolio. As for the money, the amount seems plausible, not outrageous, assuming that the investment is matched by significant marketing and publicity efforts as the publication date draws near, similar, let’s say, to the promotional work the house did for Haven Kimmel (before she moved to Hudson Street Press earlier this spring).

This is all speculation, mind you, but I’m sure somebody will have something firmer to report before the day is done. UPDATE: Indeed, once the sale itself was confirmed, the numbers cited immediately shifted downward to the $100-150K range, a guesstimate which requires very little suspension of disbelief.