Monday, March 21, 2005

The Woes of a Best-Selling Author

The NYT reports that Dan Brown, author of best-selling phenomenon, "The Da Vinci Code," has gone into post-celebrity hiding, shocked at the fame - and money - his book has garnered. I can't say I have much sympathy with Mr. Brown, most authors struggle to make a living at the profession, often relegated to the midlist if they pass the rejection pile (for a noteworthy comparison, read this first-person account). So you write a book, go on the PR circus, and get beter than excellent results: Why are you fighting against the results of your efforts? (Or, in a more colloquial vein, "what where you thinking?")

He has given almost no interviews over the last year, immersing himself instead in researching and writing the follow-up to "The Da Vinci Code," which will again feature Robert Langdon, the familiar Harvard religious scholar, and will be set in Washington and focus on the secretive world of the Freemasons.

"I have no idea how real celebrities handle their fame," Mr. Brown, 40, said last week in a rare written response to questions submitted to him by e-mail message. "I'm just a guy who wrote a book, and it still can turn into a circus at times when I go out in public."

His retreat from the public eye comes as expectations for his next novel grow bigger every day, as do sales of "The Da Vinci Code," a thriller that long ago morphed from a best seller into a cultural phenomenon.

Since its release on March 18, 2003, "The Da Vinci Code," Mr. Brown's fourth novel, has sold roughly 25 million copies in 44 languages around the world, including nearly 10 million hardcover copies in the North America. That is 10 times the average sales of industry titans like John Grisham and Nora Roberts, making the book one of the fastest-selling adult novels of all time. While most books move into paperback within a year of their original publication in hardcover, Mr. Brown's publisher, Doubleday, still has not scheduled a paperback release of "The Da Vinci Code."

1 comment:

Alessandra said...

I only saw one article that mentioned how much Brown has supposedly made on the book, and it stated a mere US 50 million... Such a victim...

I´m still reading the Da Vinci Code, several initial reflections here (in English):

Opus Dei, action script, how educational it is, the word puzzles, Sophie and Langdon, the albino, the secret ritual and more...