Dan Brown's new book sold a million copies on its first day. A million copies. Take in this, along with James Patterson's megablock deal, and I would suggest the health of the publishing industry is, in some respects, quite healthy.

How the hell does an author sell a million books? There are lots of well-known authors out there who have good reputations and a sizeable following. But they don't come close to hitting the numbers like Brown's new book did. I think this is a perfect example of a publishing house deciding on which author to push. . and when they push hard. . . it becomes amazing the numbers they can stir up.

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Comment by Jon Loomis on September 24, 2009 at 12:21pm
Dan Brown was going to be a mega-star and a guy like Jon or a lady like I.J. aren't.

Hey, wait a second now...
Comment by John McFetridge on September 23, 2009 at 12:50am
So far I've only read Island of Exiles, but the writing is so strong that I'd say you could do just about anything.
Comment by B.R.Stateham on September 23, 2009 at 12:48am
I agree with you, Joe. But a modicum of financial success for the lesser voices would be appreciated.
Comment by Joe Barone on September 23, 2009 at 12:28am
I guess it all depends on how you define success for the publishing industry. Massive numbers in obviously one sort of success, but a variety of excellent voices each of which sells fewer is another kind of success. As a reader, I prefer the second kind of success.
Comment by I. J. Parker on September 23, 2009 at 12:16am
B.R. is as always an angel. Since we started this thread, I've been told to come up with a new series. I'm pondering the changes I'll have to make in order to be more successful next time.
Comment by B.R.Stateham on September 22, 2009 at 2:37pm
It does seem odd that the greatest success stories nowadays does not go the writer who can left genre material up and make it truly shine. . call it even 'literature.' No, the true success goes to the writer who creates a bland, colorless, composite of a story.

And yeah, I agree with Jon. I'm jealous. Not of the writing style, but the series of circumstances which were woven together my mysterious forces which said Dan Brown was going to be a mega-star and a guy like Jon or a lady like I.J. aren't. It doesn't make sense.
Comment by Jon Loomis on September 22, 2009 at 11:16am
I'm totally jealous--of the yacht and the villa on Lake Como. The books, not so much.
Comment by Jack Getze on September 22, 2009 at 11:05am
Didn't say we ARE jealous, just that we sound like it when we criticize another author.
Comment by Jon Loomis on September 22, 2009 at 9:42am
Dan Brown is an abominable writer. I couldn't get through the prologue of "da Vinci." As Dorothy Parker said, it's "not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force." AS for the jealousy thing, sure, I'd like to have his money--but not if it meant I had to write like that.
Comment by John McFetridge on September 22, 2009 at 8:42am
Well, in Pullman's case he talks about specifics in the writing. And I don't know about the jealousy.

As I've said before, think of it as restaurans - some peple want to open a McDonald's franchise and some want to be chefs in their own restaurant.

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