Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cult Fiction: Investing in Penny Stocks

Readers often find a great novel from a small press, one that will eventually be sold to a larger New York house and gain a wider audience, thus becoming part of what I like to call the "literary psyche." It's exciting to make such a find. This is no doubt how early readers of Ernest Callenbach's Ecotopia felt when they found the book before it became a cult classic, selling millions of copies for Bantam. Prior to that, Callenbach had published the novel with Banyon Tree Books, with Harper's magazine also issuing a condensed version.

Finding a great piece of cult fiction is like finding a penny stock destined for bullish movement on Wall Street. I myself collect first editions--an expensive hobby, to be sure--but as this site indicates, I also love to find a title that has the potential to "break out," as they say in publishing. Some titles do, some don't, and some take the literary scenic route.

I'm not really talking about a title's monetary worth, although owners of early editions of Woody Guthrie's Bound for Glory , for example are sitting on a lot of money. The same can be said for the novels John Grisham sold from the trunk of his car before he became mega-famous. And so forth. I'm talking about buying stock in an idea, a trend, knowing that you've found treasure in a book that is circulating in cult and underground circles. Non-readers won't know what I'm talking about. Fiction junkies--you already get it.

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Cult Fiction and A CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES
Moby-Dick: The Ultimate Cult Novel
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