Monday, June 11, 2007

Harlan Coben

This might turn out to be one of those book series to read and to sell.

I haven't read Harlan Coben's books yet but after reading the recent Atlantic article about him I intend to read one because I enjoy the occasional mystery novel.

I also read the article from a "what's in this for me as a bookseller" perspective. Coben is a bestselling author but I hadn't heard of him before, which means he isn't hypercommon. I did some research on eBay and was happy to discover that lots that contain all eight of the books that feature detective Myron Bolitar fetch almost $5 per book for mass market paperbacks.

Not surprisingly, hardcover editions of his first book, Play Dead, fetch three figures. Any of his hardcovers are worth running through ScoutPal. I don't know yet how plentiful his books are at sales and thrifts.

The article is also interesting from a writing and marketing perspective. He understands that writing is a business and is successful because he brands himself and has a niche. If you have a wish to be published someday his story might be of interest to you. I admit, though, that I did have to work hard to suppress the urge to covet his seven figure advances and large Victorian home. Bookselling doesn't tend to be as lucrative. Alas.

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2 Comments:

Blogger CLM said...

I have not yet read the article (thanks for the link) but I have run into him occasionally at bookstore events. He is very personable and I remember hearing he was one of the few males in the Women Mystery Writers Group (thus stood out). I agree that he definitely marketed himself in a very deliberate (and effective) way. My sister is a big fan of his books.

9:57 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Enjoyed visiting your blog. I used to be an online bookseller, so it was like revisiting my past.

8:58 PM  

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