The Streisand Effect - publishing

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Someone got lucky. From the New York Times:

With ‘I Hate Men,’ a French Feminist Touches a Nerve
If it hadn’t been for a man, Pauline Harmange’s literary debut, “I Hate Men,” might have gone unnoticed.

The feminist essay, which makes a case for shunning men as a legitimate defense mechanism against widespread misogyny, was initially published in French by the nonprofit press Monstrograph. It only printed 400 copies. On the day it was released last August, however, an employee of France’s ministry for gender equality, Ralph Zurmély, emailed Monstrograph from his government account.

The book was obviously, he wrote, “an ode to misandry.” Zurmély, who hadn’t read the book, likened it to “sex-based incitement to hatred,” and concluded: “I ask that you immediately withdraw this book from your catalog, subject to legal prosecution.”

The threat backfired. No sooner was it made public than “I Hate Men” became a cause célèbre in the French news media — and brought attention to misandry, the dislike or mistrust of men, as a social phenomenon. Since Monstrograph couldn’t keep up with demand, a major French publisher, Seuil, won a bidding war to reprint the book, which has sold 20,000 copies since. The translation rights for 17 languages have been sold. In the United States, HarperCollins will release “I Hate Men,” translated by Natasha Lehrer, on Jan. 19.

The Streisand Effect? From Infogalactic:

The Streisand effect is the phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely, usually facilitated by the Internet. It is an example of psychological reactance, wherein once people are aware something is being kept from them, their motivation to access the information is increased.

It is named after American entertainer Barbra Streisand, whose 2003 attempt to suppress photographs of her residence in Malibu, California, inadvertently drew further public attention to it. Similar attempts have been made, for example, in cease-and-desist letters to suppress numbers, files, and websites. Instead of being suppressed, the information receives extensive publicity and media extensions such as videos and spoof songs, often being widely mirrored across the Internet or distributed on file-sharing networks.

Heh, yeah.  Best way to boost publication is to have it banned somewhere. I hope that she celebrates her fifteen minutes and invests the proceeds wisely.  It will be interesting to see how her second book sells.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on January 12, 2021 8:58 PM.

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