By November 14, 2008 1 Comments Read More →

The Writer of The Dragon Tattoo

Maybe I’m just a soft-hearted guy who’s more interested in books and movies than in news about how much money books and movies earn, but NPR’s segment yesterday (“The Making of a Posthumous Best-Seller“) about Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo left me cold. The focus of the piece wasn’t so much about the book or its author as it was the unique challenges Knopf faced in marketing a book whose author can’t go on tour because he happens to be dead. There’s a nice quote from Sarah Weinman explaining why it’s a good book, but there’s also this, from Knopf publicity director Paul Bogaards:

“The retail channel was key,” says Bogaards. “In the absence of bookseller enthusiasm you might, as a publisher, have a problem.”

Do NPR listeners really care about the retail channel? Or do they just want to know, from an NPR reviewer, whether it’s a book worth reading? To me, Larsson’s untimely death is less a sales conundrum than a shame. As Bill Ott put it in his review, “What a shame that we only have three books in which to watch the charismatic Lisbeth Salander take on the world!”



About the Author:

Keir Graff is Executive Editor of Booklist Publications and the author of five books. His most recent is the middle-grade novel, The Other Felix (2011). Follow him on Twitter at @Booklist_Keir.

1 Comment on "The Writer of The Dragon Tattoo"

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  1.' Reg Keeland says:

    Keir, I totally agree! It was lots of fun translating these 3 books. Stieg intended to write a series of 10, so we’ll never know what antics Lisbeth might have gotten up to later. Although his laptop did contain part of vol. 4, his estate won’t let anyone see it…

    Reg Keeland, Albuquerque

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