Dan Brown's new book, The Lost Symbol, is set for release on Tuesday and was described by Amazon.com's Jeff Bezos in a note on Amazon's homepage last week as "one of the most anticipated publishing events of all time" and insists the company is keeping its stash of yet-released copies of the book "under 24-hour guard in its own chain-link
enclosure, with two locks requiring two separate people for entry" and is urging librarians and reviewers keep copies "under lock and key", which, well, seems a bit excessive. And like an insanely effective marketing tool in his readership community.
At first glance, anyway.
Though often regarded as an example of mainstream over-hyped work,
Brown's success continues on the heels of the film adaptation of The Da Vinci Code, which grossed nearly $760 million at the box office upon its release in the spring of 2006, despite also receiving some less-than-adoring reviews.
The novel, which will begin its print run with an initial five million copies, will also make audiobooks, abridged versions and downloads for e-reader devices available simultaneously. Currently, the novel is Amazon's number one pre-order bestseller,
and is predicted to escort Brown's other titles- reissued with
newly-designed covers for the occasion - back to the bestseller list.
Brown, who left a short career as a singer/songwriter and first started writing after reading The Doomsday Conspiracy and feeling he could do far better, will debut the book's prologue and first chapter exclusively this weekend on Parade. To also build to the title's release date, the author has been dropping hints almost daily to fans via Twitter about The Lost Symbol, including recent illustrations and code, about which fans seem to be putting forth great effort to decipher.
novel's Twitter account, which is following just slightly more people
than are following back, seems be firmly in the "review on a
case-by-case basis" zone when it comes to Twitter's golden ratio
of community building. For a guy with even Amazon at his disposal to
build a sense of intrigue, and for someone putting so much effort into
distributing his critical clues via Twitter, you'd think he'd have gleaned more than just a few thousand followers for his efforts.