16 January 2008

Not your average crossover

I don't read much adult literature these days (although I did recently read Steve Martin's Born Standing Up and highly recommend it,) and I NEVER read Dean Koontz, so this might have completely passed me by. But in a Publisher's Weekly article about the importance of post-Christmas bookstore sales, (December 3, 2007, Vol. 254, No.48, p. 20) it was mentioned that the paperback release of Kate DiCamillio's The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane has been bumped up. Why, you ask? And what does this have to do with Dean Koontz? Well, evidently the book features heavily in Koontz's Brother Odd, and Candlewick, the publishers of "Tulane" are hoping to snag some adult readers, all on the basis of that connection. I for one can't argue with their reasoning. As a high schooler I read Candide--which was brutal, I might add-- simply because of the lyric, "It's just like a scene out of Voltaire" (That's from Duran Duran's Last Chance on the Stairway, just in case you didn't already know!) And I read Moby Dick as a preamble to Nathanial Philbrick's In The Heart of the Sea (although I probably should have read them in reverse. I recommend that one, too, BTW.)

I'd love to know if the strategy works. If it does, I wonder if it will lead to product placement among authors--prearranged mentioning to connect adult readers to kids books and vice versa. Actually, now that I think about it, I hope the strategy fails spectacularly! Far too contrived. I guess it's a shame that I found no value in my reading of Voltaire, but at least I got there on my own.

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