Less than a fortnight after launching his novel on crowdfunding platform Unbound, rights to Matt Cain’s The Madonna of Bolton are being sold at the Frankfurt Book Fair.
The editor-in-chief of Attitude magazine had his novel, about a boy who grows up in Bolton and becomes obsessed with Madonna, rejected by more than 30 publishers, with one stating that it would not “appeal to a mass-market readership”.
Cain left began his crowdfunding campaign on 2nd October, and a week later his novel had become one of the fastest-funded books in Unbound’s history, after authors such as David Walliams and David Nicholls pitched in.
Unbound is selling foreign rights at the fair, where Cain told The Bookseller Daily: “I’m totally overwhelmed. After years of rejection I’d started to doubt this book and my ability as a writer. But something inside me persisted and stopped me from giving up on it. I also knew that, contrary to what publishers might think, having a gay central character doesn’t put readers off a book.”