Brown Whines About Simon & Schuster and St. Martin's Press
He echoes a common gripe most authors have (whether they deserve to gripe or not). But whining about it in a public forum?
The following are Brown's words which are unchanged. I have added some new paragraph breaks to make it easier to read.
Promotion of The Da Vinci Code
213. I am quite Sure that a great deal of the success of The Da Vinci Code is down to the excellent promotion the book received. The Da Vinci Code got a huge launch.
My first three books were barely promoted.
There were more Advance Reader Copies given away for free of The Da Vinci Code than the whole print run for Angels & Demons.
I am convinced that The Da Vinci Code would have failed if it had been published by my previous publishers - equally, I think Angels & Demons would have been a big success if published by Random House [emphasis added] with as much fanfare as they brought to The Da Vinci Code. Angels & Demons is perhaps even more controversial (it deals with a Pope who had a child), and many people have told me they actually prefer it to The Da Vinci Code.64. After our trip to Rome, I had completed an outline for Angels & Demons, including a grand finale at CERN, which ultimately I did not use.
St. Martin's Press (SMP, my publisher for Digital Fortress) wanted to buy Angels & Demons, but I had been frustrated by their lack of promotional effort on my behalf.
I had taken matters into my own hands. I spent my own money on publicity. I booked more than a hundred radio interviews, doing several a day for months.
Despite good reviews, a very newsworthy/timely topic, and all of my grassroots efforts, the novel sold poorly. I decided that I would change publishing houses. I got an offer from Simon & Schuster, who wanted to buy Angels & Demons based on my outline and promised me a much larger publicity campaign.
65. Because Simon & Schuster had purchased my book in advance, 1 now was writing knowing that 1 [NOTE: looks like that last was a typo from scanning on the Times site] had a publisher.
I was encouraged because Simon & Schuster said they were extremely excited by Angels & Demons. They promised to give the book considerably more publicity and support than my previous publishers. Their proposed publicity included a much larger print run (60,000), advertising in major newspapers, web advertising, a 12 city tour, an e-book release, and other exciting prospects.
66. Unfortunately, when the book came out, my print run was slashed down to 12,000 copies with virtually no publicity at all.
I was once again on my own and despite enthusiastic reviews, the novel sold poorly. Blythe and I were heartbroken as we had put so much work into this book.
Once again, we took matters into our own hands, booking our own signings, booking our own radio shows, and selling books out of our car at local events.