How Nowhere Man Became a Bestseller by Robert Rosen

Author Robert Rosen
Photo by Mary Lyn Maiscott

How did my John Lennon biography, Nowhere Man, a book that was originally rejected by everybody and then published by a tiny upstart indie that operated out of a tenement basement on New York City’s Lower East Side, become a bestseller in five countries? Luck had a lot to do with it—terrible luck for the 18 years that the manuscript languished in limbo. And then, I don’t know what happened. Maybe the stars lined up. Whatever the case, my luck changed: A friend of a friend introduced me to a hungry agent who’d just left his job as an editor at a major publishing house. He recognized Nowhere Man’s potential and signed me as his first client.

My agent was shrewd enough to sell U.S. rights to Soft Skull Press for a small advance, knowing that foreign rights and serial rights would be a gold mine—which is exactly what happened. And Soft Skull, which no longer exists as an independent, was very good at one thing: They knew how to publicize a book. Continue reading “How Nowhere Man Became a Bestseller by Robert Rosen”