Ready or Not Here It Comes
Let’s face it head on. There are strong opinions about Dan Brown’s book, The Da Vinci Code. Some people absolutely love the book and have talked about it until you can hardly stand to listen another word. Others love to talk about the misinformation about the Bible in the core of the book. No matter where you stand on this matter, it is a publishing phenomena. Almost three years after the original publication date, the book still isn’t available in the U.S. in paperback. It is available overseas but because the hardcover continues to be on the bestseller list, what motivates the publisher to release the paperback?
Under the typical run of events in book publishing, a book will be released in hardcover, then sell to an expected level. Then those sales will be boosted again with the “new” edition of the paperback release. According to Forbes, Dan Brown made over $75 million in one year. I don’t know if you noticed the mixture of fiction and nonfiction with the book, The Illustrated Da Vinci Code. This book combines the fiction book text with photographs of some places mentioned in the text. Some time ago, I read this “illustrated” book had sold over 100,000 copies.
The book will receive another round of attention when the motion picture releases later this year. Today Doubleday announced the paperback will arrive in late March or six weeks ahead of the release of the movie. “Random House imprint Anchor Books said it would publish 5 million paperback copies in mass market and trade editions -- the imprint’s largest ever print run for a paperback and far more than most paperbacks sell in a year in the United States.” Publisher’s Weekly announced, “In addition, Broadway Books will issue a 200,000 copy printing for the trade paperback edition of The Da Vinci Code Special Illustrated Edition on March 28. And leaving no stone unturned, Broadway will print 200,000 copies of the trade paper edition of The Da Vinci Code Illustrated Screenplay May 19, while Doubleday will release 25,000 copies in hardcover.”
No matter what you think about the Bible portion of The DaVinci Code, most people agree the reading experience was excellent. I found the book to be a page-turner. I took it on a trip and was absorbed in the book during my plane ride and late at night during the trip. I breezed through the book in a single weekend. Any writer who reads the book aware of the page-turning techniques can learn from reading this book. It’s the type of riveting page-turning style that should be built into our writing. It will keep the editor interested in your pitch and your proposal. Whether we are ready for it or not, the paperback edition of this book is on the way.