"Scott told me that he had heard from Maxwell Perkins that the book was not selling well"

Harvard graduate William Maxwell Evarts Perkins (1884-1947) worked as a journalist for The New York Times before joining Charles Scribner’s Sons publishers in 1910. Originally working for the advertising department, he transferred to editorial in 1914 and consequently worked with both Hemingway and Fitzgerald, as well as many other well-known authors of the time. In fact, it was Perkins -- now widely considered as one of the most famous names in his professional field -- who took the risk of backing Hemingway's first novel, The Sun Also Rises (1926).

The 'Introduction' of the 1991 edition of The Great Gatsby, edited by Matthew Joseph Bruccoli, reports that Fitzgerald confided to Perkins that the reasons for the book's failure were twofold: the title was 'only fair' and it lacked a strong female character.