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The book fulfilled the authors' expectations and became a bestseller in 1969; they revealed the hoax later that year, further spurring the book's popularity.Mike Mc Grady was convinced that popular American literary culture had become so base—with the best-seller lists dominated by the likes of Harold Robbins and Jacqueline Susann—that any book could succeed if enough sex was thrown in.To test his theory, in 1966 Mc Grady recruited a team of Newsday colleagues (according to Andreas Schroder, Mc Grady co-edited the project with his Newsday colleague Harvey Aronson, and among the other collaborators were well-known writers including 1965 Pulitzer Prize winner Gene Goltz, 1970 Pulitzer Prize winner Robert W. The group wrote the book as a deliberately inconsistent hodge-podge, with each chapter written by a different author.Some of the chapters had to be heavily edited, because they were originally too well written.The book was submitted for publication under the pseudonym "Penelope Ashe." (She was portrayed by Billie Young, Mc Grady's own sister-in-law, for photographs and meetings with publishers.) The publisher, Lyle Stuart, was an independent publisher then known for controversial books, many with sexual content.