CATENGESP


SELF-SOLD MAN

(03/03/2008)

Aquest article no estÓ tradu´t al catalÓ; es mostra la seva versiˇ en anglŔs

On an extraordinary self-publishing success.

CATALONIA TODAY ľ SECTION: LONG-TERM RESIDENT - ARTICLE EIGHTY-NINE

Joan Junyent used to be the managing director of a potash mine in S˙ria (near Manresa). An engineer specialising in accident prevention, he'd been working in the mining sector for over two decades. When, in August of 2004, his bosses slapped him in the face with a jumbo-sized wet fish by sacking him without notice, he turned for solace to what had, until then, been just a hobby: writing.
His then novel in progress was about accidents at work. Enlightened, perhaps, by the after-stun of his slap, it occurred to him to turn his book into a practical but highly readable quasi-manual. Thus was born 'El gran silenci', a curious cross between 'a work of fiction and a basic course in accident prevention', as he puts it. He published it himself and immediately began peddling it to every kind of firm imaginable, from driving schools in Lleida to steel foundries in Euskadi.
The book has so far gone into nine editions and four languages, with total sales of nearly 25,000 copies, allowing Joan to pay off his mortgage and keep his family in clover, to boot. When he told me his story in the S˙ria public library a few weeks ago, I practically head-butted the wall in frustration. This man had successfully avoided all the infuriating drawbacks of the book world: the endless waits for publisher's decisions, the fickleness of the literary prize-giving circuit, the maddening blunders of the distributors and the soul-destroying put-downs of the critics. Joan wanted to buy me lunch, but I insisted that I pick up the tab, by way of congratulating him for having unwittingly - and unerringly - made a laughingstock of all those writers who like to think of ourselves as 'professional'.


- Textos i contingut: Matthew Tree - Disseny i programaciˇ: Nac -