How a Whale Sank Writer’s Career


How a whale sank writer's career

Melville’s inspiration for Moby Dick was based in part on the real-life story of the New England whaling ship, Essex. Melville had written several successful novels and was considered a rising star when he submitted Moby Dick to a publisher, but critics panned the novel and the public wasn’t interested in the complex tale.

Melville’s career tanked, never to be revived, and he lived out his days as a customs inspector.

Unfortunately for Melville, interest in

sea adventures had waned.
The lure of the Wild West and gold discoveries
were uppermost in the public’s imagination, according to historians.

Takeaway: Having talent is not enough. Understanding how to read the marketplace and plan the right marketing strategy is key, regardless of the era.


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