I Feel Bad About My Dan Brown

In case you haven’t heard, in September Dan Brown’s latest book will be released.  FINALLY.

There are, I’m sure, great expectations of success….as well as failure. (and has it really been five years? Lynn M says yes so that’s what I’m going with).

Anyway….I feel bad for Dan Brown.  I know, you probably think I”m nuts for feeling bad for an author who’s achieved such success, but bear with me (and I”m working from memory here…).  He published a couple of books–like what? three? — then followed his editor to a new house with DaVinci Code and published it to all kinds of drama and controversy (yes Catholics I’m looking at U), and Tom Hanks and a pretty darn good movie. We had hardcover, paperback, movie tie-in cover etc etc etc.

Then…he had to go write another book.  How the hell do you follow up on something as huge as The DaVinci Code? I’m sure Mr. Brown was thinking the same thing.  And that’s probably why it took five years for the sequel.  Bless his heart.  For all his success, I’m not sure I’d trade places with him.

Publishing is a funny business–like we didn’t already know that. Optimally, you start a trend rather than join it and Dan Brown did just that–TDC spawned a ton of copycat (and i use that term loosely) books.  But the odds of being the writer who STARTS a trend are … almost inconceivable. I don’t think it’s something writers or even publishers can plan–it just HAPPENS because they can get behind a book and spend hundreds of thousands on publicity and STILL end up with a book that garners only mediocre success. Or worse, tanks.

The pendulum could have just as easily swung the other way for The DaVinci code.  Thoughts?