From an unknown quantity to a bestseller in Greece: as many beginning writers, Cornelia Golna, the American author of
City of Man’s Desire: A Novel of Constantinople
, tried for a long time to interest a publisher or agent in the English-speaking world in her novel, without success. Finally, seeing no other option, she and her husband decided to publish the book themselves in English in the Netherlands. There they managed to sell a couple of hundred copies and that seemed to be the end of the story, a rather sad end for a book it had taken the author more than ten years to write. What happened next, in the author’s eyes, verged on the miraculous. A publisher from Greece discovered the book while surfing the Internet, he ordered it, read it, and decided to buy the rights to publish the book in Greek. What happened after that is the stuff of dreams of every aspiring author. The book became a bestseller, ultimately selling over 20,000 copies. Then, like the icing on a cake, another publisher, this one from Turkey, stumbled upon the book and bought the rights to publish it in his country. There too, the book has been well received. Not quite a rags-to-riches story, but for this author, a dream come true.