Yeah, so I’m sitting in my office thinking about starting the day, first cup of coffee in hand, when I get this note from Zoran Zivkovic.
Now, Zoran’s a lovely fellow—a ‘stand-up’ guy, as our American chums might say—and he’s a truly remarkable writer. However, the simple fact is that, here at PS, we’ve found it difficult to make his books the staples of British readers’ bedside tables the way they should be. But, what the heck, it’s not written anywhere that quality work will always succeed just as it’s often all too painfully obvious that huge successes do not necessarily suggest high quality.
The most interesting thing that Zoran mentioned in his note—which was altogether interesting as his missives always are—was the numbers.
In pointing out the fact that Italian publisher TEA will be publishing new editions of two of his books, Zoran went on to mention that TEA’s edition of his wonderful The Last Book sold some 30,000 copies. That’s thirty thousand! That’s a lot of books. Ask anyone—I mean a lot of books.
So I did a bit of ferreting around.
In South Korea The Last Book sold in excess of 15,000 copies, in Germany almost 10,000 copies (in fact it probably will be ten thou by the time you read this), in Portugal more than 5,000 copies, and in Holland just over 4,000. And it’s a similar story in other countries. But in the countries where the native language is English, the figures are not so hot. Why? Hey, don’t ask me—I don’t understand it either.
Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t bother me—and it doesn’t actually bother Zoran: believe me, this is not a begging letter—but it really does puzzle me. We’ll keep on publishing his books for as long as he’ll let us for the simple reason that, like everything PS puts out, Zoran’s work is just so damn good. And, best of all, he said in his letter that- but no, I’ll let him tell you. “Talking about The Last Book—my most successful novel so far, at least commercially—I am well under way in writing a sequel to it, The Grand Manuscript.”
Yeah, you bet you can guess where you can pick up a copy in English.