Brad Meltzer is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Book of Fate, as well as the bestsellers The Tenth Justice, Dead Even, The First Counsel, The Millionaires and The Zero Game. He is also one of the co-creators of the TV show, Jack & Bobby – and is the number one selling author of the critically acclaimed comic books, Identity Crisis and Justice League of America, for which he won the prestigious Eisner Award. His newest thriller, The Book of Lies, was just released.
Raised in Brooklyn and Miami, Brad is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Columbia Law School. The Tenth Justice was his first published work and became an instant New York Times bestseller. Dead Even followed a year later and also hit the New York Times bestseller list, as have all six of his novels. The First Counsel came next, which was about a White House lawyer dating the President’s daughter, then The Millionaires, which was about two brothers who steal money and go on the run. The Zero Game is about two Congressional staffers who are – literally – gambling on Congress. The Book of Fate, is about a young presidential aide, a crazed assassin, and the 200 year-old code created by Thomas Jefferson that ties them together. For authenticity, The Book of Fate was researched with the help of former Presidents Clinton and Bush. His newest book, The Book of Lies, is about the missing murder weapon that Cain used to kill Abel, as well as the unsolved murder of Superman creator Jerry Siegel’s father. Brad is one of the only people to interview Jerry Siegel’s family about the murder and, with his charitable site www.OrdinaryPeopleChangeTheWorld.com, has been the driving force behind the movement to repair the house where Superman was created.
His books have spent over ten months on the bestseller lists, and have been translated into over 25 languages, from Hebrew to Bulgarian. In The Tenth Justice, the opening lines are: “Ben Addison was sweating. Like a pig.” In the Hebrew translation, it became: “Ben Addison was sweating. Like a horse.” We’re not sure if it’s a kosher thing or what!
Brad has played himself as an extra in Woody Allen’s Celebrity, co-wrote the swearing in oath for AmeriCorps, the national service program, and earned credit from Columbia Law School for writing his first book, which became The Tenth Justice. Before all of that, he got 24 rejection letters for his true first novel, which still sits on his shelf, published by Kinko’s.
Brad currently lives in Florida with his wife, who’s also an attorney.
Your first response over some lousy reviews couldn’t have been to be creative and throw together an anti-promotion video…how long did you struggle with the negative responses? A mini-mockumentary that encourages folks to stay away from your book is a big step in embracing lemons and making lemonade. Share a bit about the road from the first lousy review to your grandma talking trash about your book on Youtube.
Watch my grandmother. She says it best.
What difference has this short film with scathing reviews made in the sales of your book? Have you received feedback from those who bought it based on the anti-mercial?
I don’t think we sold a single book. But it saved me from lots of therapy.
What’s your next/newest project? Are you going with the recommendations of the critics or doing what you darn well please?
Heroes For My Son — a nonfiction book that I’ve been writing since the day my son was born — with heroes for him from throughout history.
Have any other hints on how to deal with awful reviews and negative word-of-mouth buzz? A lot of our readers are first time authors who spend lots of time angsting their reviews. How important are reviews in your opinion?
They only matter if you let them get to you. But listen to the ones that sound right, good or bad.
Any creative/effective marketing ideas you can share with our readers?
See our site — soundtrack, caches, etc…
If you next book doesn’t please the critics do you plan to make more videos? Have you worked out a fresh angle and would you consider using talking animals ( I imagine it could be satisfying to hear a flow of negative words coming out of the mouth of a donkey)?