Jason Fagone on writing “Horseman of the Esophagus”

Jason Fagone has a blog entry for Nieman Storyboard about the writing process for Horsemen of the Esophagus where he describes the transition to his second book (which would wind up being Ingenious)

But sales were poor. I think many readers were disgusted by the subject matter: It took a leap of faith to imagine that you could enjoy a book about professional overeaters.

I told myself my second book would be different. I didn’t have an idea yet, but I wanted to try again. In 2008, I called a friend, a magazine writer and bestselling author in New York, and asked him how I should proceed. “I think it’s simple,” he said. “It’s about the topic. Pick a topic that people already like.” In other words: Don’t waste time trying to make people care about something they don’t already care about.

Comments (6)


  1. anonymous said

    December 13, 2013 @ 11:32 am

    If the book is not competitive eating related it will not pose much of an interest to any of us and will more than likely become a flop . . Ryan Nerz tried his hand on another topic such as Marajuana and it went nowhere. Nerz might have pulled in a couple of grand if not less with Eat this book while Fangone received 100 grand up front before the book even hit the shelves

  2. Anonymous said

    December 13, 2013 @ 2:22 pm

    Timing is everything. Fagone had great timing by chance. He did not have access to Kobayashi and many others, the real inside. Nerz had access to many but being inside was a downside. Other writers got book offers and refused because no book on CE will sell.

  3. anonymous said

    December 13, 2013 @ 5:19 pm

    Competitive eating books will never sell because the gossip won’t even sell. Info on deceit and organizations screwing over eaters while making money on them, well that might sell

  4. anonymous said

    December 13, 2013 @ 5:20 pm

    How bout a 300 page tell all book l about soykin complaints about never getting enough media attention?

  5. ojrifkin said (Registered July 27, 2005)

    December 13, 2013 @ 5:50 pm

    The comments in this category might come to 300 pages if they were all printed out


  6. Anonymous said

    December 13, 2013 @ 9:44 pm

    May this be the last words. Off topic. One person in his own fantasy land is given a stage and a book.

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