Hyper-glossy word-pimp Jackie Collins has announced in an interview with Galley Cat that she will follow her fellow mega-sellers J.K. Rowling and Stephen King into the realm of self-publishing in the coming weeks. Having already sold enough copies of her books to keep all of her heroines’ hot-tubs eternally filled with Champagne (over 400 million worldwide, at last count – that’s sales, not hot-tubs), Collins has decided she can afford to experiment, and will do so by digitally releasing a revised edition of her seminal (pause for Beavis and Butthead snigger) 1979 bestseller The Bitch in the USA without the support of Macmillan, her US publisher.
What’s that, you ask? You’d like to be reminded of which of her sprawling bibliography is The Bitch? Why certainly! What’s that? You didn’t actually ask for that? Well too bad! The back cover contains one of the best, most shameless sales pitches you’ll ever read on a book that (ostensibly at least) isn’t a parody, to wit:
SHE’S A WOMAN WHO’S NEVER SHORT OF A MAN. AND THEY CALL HER… THE BITCH
Fontaine Khaled (! – ed.) has an Arab millionaire among her yesterdays and hard-gambling Nico for all her tomorrows (!! – ed.). Which only leaves the problem of choosing a man for today… From London to Las Vegas, Hollywood to Athens – she calls the shots from her plush limos and black satin sheets. She is The Bitch and she is in control. And that could never change – could it? The Bitch… the sizzling sequel to The Stud.
‘Casinos, swimming pools, orgies, race horses, gangsters, sex-in-the-shower – it’s all there!’ Observer
Oh man, I really hope that exclamation mark was in The Observer’s original review. Come on now, admit it – you really want to read that. You might say you’d buy that for a dollar, in fact. Well, that’s just what Collins is banking on, as she’s setting the price point at $2.99, at the absolute highest. When asked why she had decided to self-publish, Collins said ‘just to be innovative and as a gift for my fans. It’s a total experiment. It might sell two copies or it might sell 200,000. Who knows?’ (to which I say: did you read that plot description? It’s going to sell more than two copies. I mean, come on.)
The revised edition of the book was already released digitally by Collins’ UK publishers, Simon & Schuster, earlier in the year. Collins will self-publish in the US alone for now, hinting that she is testing the water for future release of titles that Macmillan are not interested in publishing: ‘if it does well, I probably will continue to e-publish, because I have a book of short stories and my publisher says short stories don’t sell’. But then again, most short stories don’t have characters with names like Bobby Santangelo Stanislopolous or endless puns on the word ‘bitch’.
He was chief hack and music editor of webzine Brazen from 2006 to 2010, and hosted Left of the Dial on Subcity Radio from 2008 to 2011.
He can be heard semi-regularly on the podcast of Scottish cultural blog Scots Whay Hae ('20th best website in Scotland!' - The List), and in 2011 founded Seen Your Video, a film and music podcast and blog based in Glasgow. He has a Masters degree in Scottish Literature from the University of Glasgow that will never have any practical application. You are on a hiding to nothing if you follow him on Twitter expecting any kind of hot publishing scoop.