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.