The making of a blockbuster - Books -

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The Making Of A Blockbuster

In-depth Salon feature by Lauras Miller exploring the behind-the-scenes story of the readers and booksellers who launched the Hunger Games franchise...

As of this writing, the first book in the Hunger Games series has been parked on the USA Today bestseller list for 132 weeks; the second, "Catching Fire," for 131. There are more than 16 million copies of all three books in print. Unlike the Harry Potter series, which was aimed (originally) at middle-grade readers, this is a young-adult epic with a particularly dark premise: In a future version of America called Panem, 12 districts subjugated by a central authority must each send a pair of their children to compete in a gladiatorial contest from which only one will emerge alive. In marked contrast to the swoony vampire romance of the Twilight series, the many harrowing action sequences in "The Hunger Games" make the books equally appealing to boys and girls.

It's indicative of the balkanization of the reading world that if you don't have teenage children, you may not have heard of "The Hunger Games" until quite recently, despite the fact that for several years the book's success has rivaled that of "The Help" and "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo." Although both Harry Potter and Twilight have demonstrated that there's a sizable adult readership for some children's books, the genre is still (mostly) reviewed in separate publications, shelved in its own section of the library and often sold in separate stores. In fact, children's book publishing operates quite differently from its adult counterpart. And in many respects, that's a good thing.

With the right title, a kid's publisher can deploy something the world of adult publishing can only dream about: a large, well-oiled and highly networked group of professional and semi-professional taste makers who can make that book a hit even before it's published. This is what happened with "The Hunger Games"...

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This page contains a single entry by achuka published on March 20, 2012 7:12 AM.

RHCB buys debut penned by HC editor | The Bookseller was the previous entry in this blog.

Kiwis Spread their Wings to No.1 with iPad Children's Books | Scoop News is the next entry in this blog.

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