Mark Terry

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Success & Marketing Thoughts

August 16, 2011
I was thinking about this today, and I'm not going to draw conclusions. I was thinking about the enormously successful writer Harlan Coben. I actually was introduced to his work by an article in the now-defunct magazine The Armchair Detective. Harlan and two other mystery writers early in their careers had gone on a self-financed book tour together, the three of them in a car driving all over the east coast and south hitting bookstores and giving talks and doing signings, etc.

Harlan, as I think we know, has gone on to an enormous international career.

As far as I can tell, the other two are no longer being published at all. They wrote a handful of books and just, well, disappeared.

What does that mean?

They were all being published more or less at the same time, they were writing somewhat similar materials, they were being equivalently aggressive in their marketing and yet... one of them got struck by lightning and the others, well...

I don't actually think Harlan is more talented than his partners in that long ago drive, although maybe he is. Something happened, certainly. One thing I do know is Harlan started writing a different kind of book than he was earlier in his career.

Or maybe it's all just capriciousness.



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