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The Bestseller

3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  794 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews
At Davis & Dash, one of New York's most prestigious publishing houses, five new authors will be published--but only one of them will be a bestseller. They have worked long and hard to write their novels of romance and murder, drama and love. But the story behind the stories is even more exciting. And the vicious competition to get the right agent, the perfect editor, a ...more
Paperback, 720 pages
Published June 14th 1997 by HarperTorch (first published January 1st 1996)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,245)
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Lynne Spreen
Wow, what a blast from the past. This story is a primal scream (however fun and dishy!) from the days just before the Internet, when the big problem was that giant booksellers like Borders were devouring small independents. How quaint that seems now. Look at all that has happened! As a writer, I almost feel like self-pubbing and my own efforts at promotion will be the new normal for authors, the only logical way to go. Amazing to mark time from the point this book was written. But a good, enjoya ...more
This wasn't bad -- if you like the author's other books, you'll probably enjoy this one too. It wasn't as juicy as I'd hoped, but it's an interesting look at the publishing industry, and the travails of 5 authors trying to get the next big hit. The stories were rather disjointed at first, but they tied together nicely in the end. And as always, with Goldsmith's novels, the good people get what they deserve and the bad people get what *they* deserve.
Oct 14, 2008 Lara rated it it was ok
Light and a good book for my recent trip, when I needed something to fill the time spent on airplanes and subway rides, etc. It reads a lot like a soap opera -- tawdry, yet compelling. Few of the characters are sympathetic, and few that are sympathetic are believable. Actually none of the characters, except maybe the editor, Emma Ashton, are believable. I also found the constant name-dropping annoying.

♥ Marlene♥
Mar 05, 2014 ♥ Marlene♥ rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Not knowing what wanted to read I picked this book cause I still love to read books like Queenie,Lace and that kind of thing.

A queenie it was not but it was an enjoyable read. This was written before the internet time but I am sure there is still a lot of cheating going on.

At first it began kinda slow with lots of people having their own chapter but once you get to know them it becomes better and you really start to enjoy it.

Very large book with many pages.
Victoria Evangelina Belyavskaya


I was reading the book during the trip to South East Asia in January 2007. Despite the beauty of Thailand, Malaysia and Laos around me, I could not wait to continue reading!!! It is a very touching, wonderfully written story of five authors, writing, selling, publishing their "book-babies": but the only one is to stand on the top... While it is always difficult for me to give books away, with this one, from the first pages I knew it is on my permanent bookshelf; four years later and
Lisa Daily
Mar 22, 2014 Lisa Daily rated it really liked it
I actually really like this book. I hadn't read it in about a million years, but I picked it up the other day and it was just what I needed -- fast paced, funny, brain candy. The characters are vivid and amusing, and aspiring writers and published authors will love the behind the scenes look at the publishing industry. Yes, the book is a little dated (ahem, sky high advances) But lines like "The only good author is a dead author" and other quotes from 90's publishing icons feel dead-on authentic ...more
Sep 05, 2010 Cait rated it liked it
I read this right after A Confederacy of Dunces, and one of the stories seems about the same as O'Toole's.

There are a lot of terrible people in this book. Terrible, greedy, selfish people who deserve a punch to the forehead. I spent a lot of time thinking about who I wanted to be THE bestseller- who wins?- and I was pleased with the final outcome.
Jan 10, 2009 Clare rated it it was amazing
This is the best fiction I have ever read! This story takes the reader through the dramatic and cut throat world of book publishing, where relationships are tested, backs are stabbed, secrets are unveiled, and the lives of a half dozen strangers are mysteriously woven together all leading to a wonderful surprise ending! HIGHLY reccommended.
May 05, 2009 Ellen rated it it was amazing
My favorite of Olivia Goldsmith's books so far---an incredibly ironic peek inside the mysterious world of publishing.
Melissa Acuna
Jul 11, 2015 Melissa Acuna rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 13, 2015 Caryn rated it it was amazing
Another book I love to read over and over. Following 5 different books that are written and submitted to publishers, this is a thoroughly entertaining and pretty spot-on depiction of the publishing industry - at least as it was when the book was written! And probably not much different from today. Guessing which books, if any, will become bestsellers is fun and there's plenty of satisfaction for everyone.
Sep 12, 2007 Tory rated it did not like it
Just started a new job, wanted something easy and light. And I got it from the FREE table at a garage sale over the weekend. Perfect.

It just mentioned John Irving. In passing, and along with just about every other novelist out there. But still. John.

Alright. I've finished. And I'm not entirely sure what to say about it. Every character was ridiculously unsympathetic. I couldn't stand any of them, the entire way through. Then, about 25 pages from the end, all the sudden there was happy endings f
Anne Seebach
May 16, 2015 Anne Seebach rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Heavy on the schmaltz. Very shallow but gloriously juicy and self-indulgent - especially if you're in the mood to suspend disbelief by a hair's breadth, to enjoy fantastical happy endings for every 'nice guy', and satisfyingly just desserts for all the 'meanies'.
Olivia Goldsmith is mostly known for First Wives Club, which is too bad. While it is a good book, and contains a good sampling of her sharp sense of humor, you don't read it and think she also has a book like The Bestseller in her.

In The Bestseller, several authors are aiming for publication at the same time. It's clear who you should be rooting for from the start, but not all of the stories unfold in quite the way you might predict. By the end, good people get what they deserve. Bad people also
Jul 27, 2015 Heidi rated it liked it
Slow and depressing beginning, but eventually I started to get interested in the characters. Satisfying ending, including one particularly funny scene for one of the more despicable characters.
Caroline G'wattage
Oct 22, 2011 Caroline G'wattage rated it really liked it
'Bestsellers' was fantastic from beginning to end.
It was a long read,but it was a page turner.
The characters were all well developed.
The story was funny, shocking, and had an excellent pace.

The novel was more or less into the publishing world and showing the insight of what new authors have to go through, to get their books published. Bestsellers does not give a good impression on the publishing world, after reading this book, you will change your mind, on becoming an author, and finding it ver
Sally Mouzon
May 01, 2015 Sally Mouzon rated it it was amazing
This is not great literature, but it is a great look at the literary life. I have read this book multiple times; I enjoy the characters and the skewering of the publishing industry.
Molly Harper
Jan 25, 2010 Molly Harper rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite books ever. I have to read it once a year. Completely absorbing. I read this before I was published myself, and while my own pathway to the shelf has been no where near this soap-opera trashy, it's still interesting to see my own experiences reflected in this book. Though there are some obvious misrepresentations, contract negotiations that only take a few days, for instance. That made me giggle after I went through the process myself.

You'll root for Camilla and Judith
Jun 05, 2015 Margaret rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
One of my favorite books about the publishing industry. I reread it every year. Highly recommended!
The Bestseller by Olivia Goldsmith

THANK YOU AUTHORS for enriching my life with your stories.

I enjoyed reading this book about publishing a book. It was not a fast or easy read as it contains about 700 pages and it was certainly one of the longest books I’ve read.

It was interesting to learn all the ins and outs of publishing in a fictitious way of course. I’m sure it’s much more difficult and I’m very thankful that authors have the fortitude to go through the process that produces books such as
Stephanie Clarke
Feb 03, 2016 Stephanie Clarke rated it it was amazing
Fantastic read. Well written with several sub stories woven throughout.
Aug 04, 2009 Carole rated it really liked it
Although The Bestseller is a tongue-in-cheek novel, it still gives us a good view into the publishing world in all its glory. I found it interesting to learn about the process of a book from the writer's first idea, to the writing of the manuscript, to shopping around for an agent and a publisher, to the editing process, to the printing and sale of the book. The novel made me appreciate how hard a writer must work for, sometimes, very little reward. The novel follows five writers through the pro ...more
Mary-Lou Stephens
Feb 02, 2016 Mary-Lou Stephens rated it really liked it
A great read, especially if you're a writer.
Dec 27, 2015 Nicole rated it liked it
Good and trashy; I read this many years ago.
Mar 19, 2014 Patricia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Completely fluffy, but a very satisfying read for travel or the beach.
May 19, 2015 Celt1958 rated it liked it
I would give this three and a half stars. Some of the characters and what happened was a little predictable. Book intertwined several stories with characters that had different roles within the publishing community. The book was entertaining and gave insight to that world.
Jul 17, 2008 Suzanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Never have a read a more deicious tale of revenge than from Olivia Goldsmith. First Wives Club was good but The Bestseller is epic, delicious, and just.

Never sell Goldsmith short; her characters and plotting are top-notch. Just because its a shiny cover does not mean it is poor writing!

Read this--or any of her early books--if you have had your faith in justice or karma destroyed. She gives us all hope that the good somehow triumph, and the bad get their just desserts.
Aug 19, 2007 Candice rated it really liked it
I either read this book when I was in college when I was partway through my publishing minor, or else shortly after I this book was right up my alley, subject-matter-wise. I loved all the different story lines about the authors, editors, and the ins and outs of the publishing world, and how they all intersected. The level of detail was really impressive. Definitely a light read, but I found it really fun and entertaining.
May 21, 2014 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved how each chapter is fashioned after a character so you don't get bogged down reading about so many people. In this way it is reminiscent of Jackie Collins' style. It was a great read that came together after a few chapters. As the book went along I became more and more involved and couldn't wait to find out what happened next though the ending was somewhat predictable.
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Olivia Goldsmith (January 1, 1949 - January 15, 2004) was an American author, best known for her first novel The First Wives Club (1992), which was adapted into the movie The First Wives Club (1996).

She was born Randy Goldfield in Dumont, New Jersey, but changed her name to Justine Goldfield and later to Justine Rendal. She took up writing following a divorce in which she said her husband got almo
More about Olivia Goldsmith...

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