Thanks to Susan for passing along this story from Reuters:
LONDON (Reuters) – Even Jane Austen would have trouble finding a publisher today, a struggling author revealed Thursday.
David Lassman sent off to 18 publishers assorted chapters from Austen novels in which he changed just the titles and the names of the characters.
He called himself Alison Laydee after Austen’s early pseudonym “A Lady.”
Seventeen publishers rejected or ignored his bid for literary glory. Only one spotted the ruse and told him not to mimic “Pride and Prejudice” so closely.
Lassman, who decided on the experiment when struggling to get his own novel published, told British media: “Getting a novel accepted is very difficult today unless you have an agent first. But I had no idea of the scale of rejection poor old Jane suffered.”
Off to Necon to forget such depressing news!