The hardcover comes first. Then the movie. Then the paperback emblazoned with the words “Now a major motion picture!” Everyone knows that. But the usual order is being upended this week, as not one, but two of Boston’s best-selling writers — Dennis Lehane and Ben Mezrich — are publishing novels that were inspired by Hollywood, not the other way around.
“It couldn’t be more reversed,” said Lehane.
It is unclear whether the Boston-based movies-to-books progression is the start of a trend or just a geographic and literary quirk, but a Publishers Weekly executive says that Hollywood’s influence on the once-rarified world of publishing makes sense, given the film industry’s power.
“The whole notion of writers isolating themselves is old hat,” said Louisa Ermelino, a Publishers Weekly vice president and reviews director. “We’re in an age of marketing, and I’m not being critical of it. Twenty-five years ago I would have thought pfffff [about Hollywood], but I don’t feel that way anymore.”
“It’s funny,” she added, “if you think back, all the big writers” — like F. Scott Fitzgerald — “were brought out to Hollywood in the ’30s. Maybe we’re doing a full circle.”
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