Totally Blank Book Becomes International Bestseller

Sheridan Simove’s new book What Every Man Thinks About Apart From Sex took just nine days to conceive, write, design, self-publish, and ascend to #44 on Amazon.co.uk’s bestsellers list. Writing was the easiest part. The book consists entirely of blank pages.

Throughout his life, Simove has wanted to be a bestselling author, someone whose name circulates and carries immediate recognition. In a Real Business article Simove discusses his two previous books: Presents Money Can’t Buy and Ideas Man. Both, he says, “took a long time to write and persuade a publisher to jump on board.” The first book “bombed,” while the second “hardly sold at all” in spite of media coverage, strong marketing, and international tours.

Perplexed, Simove wondered what caused such failure. This is a reasonable response. If we lived 800 years rather than 80 (assuming we’re that lucky), we might have some time to waste. But given life’s fleetingness, it seems natural to avoid time-wasting endeavors — or at least keep them to a minimum. So Simove drew on his successes as an inventor of “novelty products.”

These products include everything from a body scrubber called “Martin Loofah King” to a prank Twitter T-shirt declaring “I TAKE IT UP THE TWITTER.” Simove has sold over one million items. More products are on the way. He’s currently seeking someone from the food industry to help manufacture a butter-sculpted Buddha known as “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Buddha!

Literary success, it turns out, is another novelty. Simove decided his previous books were too conventional. After all, gift books and memoirs flood the market, so what would compel consumers to buy Simove’s versions of these genres as opposed to somebody else’s? Seeking “a totally new concept,” Simove “joined two ideas that aren’t normally placed together” — the idea of a book and the idea of a novelty joke product.

What Every Man Thinks About Apart From Sex is the result of his experiment. The book seems to have particularly exploded at Nottingham University, where students use copies as notebooks. It’s impossible to predict how long this craze will last. But Simove is already planning his next blank book Reasons To Trust Politicians. Maybe that one will spread across the United States. TC mark

More From Thought Catalog

  • philroland

    And so the post-literate world order begins.

  • http://profiles.google.com/mhmandthen walter davis

    2012

  • http://akintoskin.tumblr.com Howstrangetobeanythingatall

    fuck my life. and fuck that guy, too. jerk.

  • Guest

    what a waste of paper…

  • jenny

    I think I can understand where this guy is coming from.

    • Val

      Yeah. There's something conceptual about it, Warholian almost. It's one of those books you can summarize with a single sentence. You don't even have to read it. But in this case there's nothing to read.

      • http://kumquatparadise.tumblr.com aaron nicholas

        well played

  • Count basie

    i thought about doing this book, or an album like this, or whatever. doesn't everyone? my title was much less lame though

    • http://kumquatparadise.tumblr.com aaron nicholas

      stick to swing bro, you do better leading the band through “april in paris” anyway

  • professor bum

    9 days? That should have taken about half an hour. Guess the guy was pretty distracted.

  • Mat

    Looking forward to the errata, which for the later editions will fill a second volume.

  • professor bum

    You know what would be awesome? If a guy bought it and then used it as a journal. And wrote about a lot of different stuff besides sex.

    • phoebe

      “The book seems to have particularly exploded at Nottingham University, where students use copies as notebooks.”

  • http://twitter.com/JosephErnest Joseph Ernest Harper

    Why are you so angry man? This is amazing. This guy's entire life is based around puns! That's so insane! It is a really funny good to be alive. There is so much funny stuff. Just try to think about this shit conceptually.

    • Jon

      Is this directed at Professor Bum or me? Professor Bum doesn't sound angry. I'm not angry, either.

      • http://twitter.com/JosephErnest Joseph Ernest Harper

        Neither you, nor Prof. Bum. Mainly the 'fuck that guy' guy.

    • http://www.facebook.com/TomSmizzle Tom Smith

      'funny' stuff

  • LDN

    LEGEND

  • http://twitter.com/ljs102 Louis Scuderi

    Can't wait for his next book – perhaps the title will be sexist towards women. Edgy!

    • Seriously?

      Boo hoo I'm a man.

      • http://kumquatparadise.tumblr.com aaron nicholas

        seriously.

    • http://kumquatparadise.tumblr.com aaron nicholas

      not kind of, the entire selling point of this gimmick is playing off the stereotype that all men ever think about is sex. it's blasé and actually degrading, and i don't get offended very easily at all.

      i'm surprised that with all the 'socially aware' tc commenters none have ventured to say anything. maybe since it's not a women's issue it's not as big of a deal. i don't know.

  • AN

    … It's amazing how a sensational waste of paper is cannily portrayed as 'experimental'.

  • zzzzzz

    NOVELTY PROP COMEDY IS FOR PEOPLE WHO LIKE NOVELTY PROP COMEDY

  • http://profiles.google.com/aidan.taus Aidan Taus

    “Seeking “a totally new concept,” Simove “joined two ideas that aren’t normally placed together” — the idea of a book and the idea of a novelty joke product.”
    My dad got a book called 'Sex for people aged 50+' (freely translated from Finnish) some ~9 years ago , and it consisted of – yup, you guessed it – blank pages. So hardly 'a totally new concept', but it seems like this one got famous.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gregpphoto Greg Petliski

    IMO it is a really cool concept. But a lot of concepts that are really cool in theory tend to be really boring in reality (see Andy Kaufman's reading of The Great Gatsby).

  • Peter

    So this guy is the lame and unfunny version of Vat19?

blog comments powered by Disqus