Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Makings of a Bestseller




Justin Cronin came to our store this morning. He had a photo shoot for The Improper Bostonian at eleven, he signed well over 100 books here, then he headed to Harvard Bookstore and beyond to sign yet more books. He's giving a reading here at the Booksmith in about two hours, before which he'll be interviewed by Robin Young of Here and Now.

The Passage, Cronin's book, weighs in at over 750 pages. It had a ginormous first printing and an unheard-of marketing budget. The story is old hat by now: Cronin submitted the manuscript pseudonymously, got a $3.5m advance and shortly thereafter, the book was optioned by none other than Ridley Scott.

Moreover, people are freaking out because Justin Cronin used to write works of literary fiction, but now he's making money. We've all heard that literary fiction and money don't mix (ask Oprah). Perhaps it's because of that weird construct that Cronin is getting so much attention, or maybe it's because he writes about vampires.

Whatever the case, Cronin has been the subject of countless articles in the Globe, the NYT -- every major publication in the whole country, for that matter. What's going on? Has he captured the zeitgeist or is it something else?

3 comments:

Dava said...

Well, I was doubtful, but decided to give it a read. Hype or not, it's a fun read for the summer.

Bookseller Bill said...

He's taken the vampire story and given it an interesting twist, in the same way that 28 Days Later gave the zombie movie an interesting twist. I'll be interested to see if the sales live up to the hype.

I enjoyed the book. I don't think it needed to be 750 pages long, and it took a while to get going, but it finally sucked me in and I couldn't put it down.

My copy had a printing error; around page 271, for about 10 pages, some pages would repeat about two lines from the previous page, and then the next page would be missing two lines. Do the Booksmith copies have that error?

Evan said...

As the one who flicked through every copy we had in the store and checked a specific line on that page, I can assure you that the Booksmith copies do not have that error. :)