On the morning of September 15th, 2009 I will be standing in a crowd outside my local bookstore, waiting to rush towards the new fiction releases. At the shelves, the crowd and I separate. They will grab copies of Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol (Doubleday). I will snag my own novel, The Art of Disappearing (St. Martin's Press). I'm willing to bet that no two books released on the same day for the rest of the year will top our combined total sales. Dan Brown and I are going to make publishing history.
I've always known that I would have to share my release date with a host of eager novices and established authors. But I had no idea that I'd be joined by Mr. Brown, a literary juggernaut, a one-man stimulus package for the book business. His income from The Da Vinci Code, $250 million dollars, could float a fleet of struggling publishing houses and bookstores.
With an astounding first edition print run of 6.5 million, the largest in Random House's history, Mr. Brown is going to bring customers out in droves. (I will not mention here by how many powers of ten his print run dwarfs mine.) But in case a bookstore sells out of The Lost Symbol, or a customer wants varied fictional fare, my novel will be beckoning. I'll happily ride Mr. Brown's coattails as long as I can.
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