All hail Dan Brown! He came, saw and conquered the national charts, making it to the #1 spot after only about a week in the marketplace—and he did so without any previous time on any national list. The Da Vinci Code, his fourth book, had a one-day laydown and a first printing of more than 218,000 copies; now, after four trips to press, that number is up to 262,000. In fact, Doubleday noted that customers bought as many hardcover copies in two days as Brown's earlier books have netted in total. Doubleday's explanation for Brown's success this time is that "the stars aligned." What that means, according to Suzanne Herz, v-p, associate publisher and executive director of publicity, is that the author "delivered a tremendous book; our sales force poured their heart and soul into getting booksellers to read it; and the booksellers, in turn, fell in love with the book and the author." The book is doing very well at the independents, the chains and the clubs. Herz reports that front-of-the-store placement has been unprecedented for an author with little or no track record. For details on how this buzz was built, check out PW's Book News story (Jan. 27) aptly called "Code Word: Breakout."
Volume 250 Issue 13 03/31/2003