BORN AGAIN BESTSELLERS: Steven Carter’s Classic Self-Help Books Are Changing the Way Brazilian Women Manage Love and Loss
AS AMERICAN AUTHOR STEVEN CARTER RETURNS FROM HIS SECOND TOUR OF BRAZIL, ONE OF HIS TITLES HAS BEEN A TOP TEN BESTSELLER FOR OVER 100 WEEKS. THE NEWLY-RELEASED SEQUEL HAS BEEN A BESTSELLER FOR 20 WEEKS. CARTER’S MESSAGE OF EMOTIONAL HEALTH AND GROWTH IS HELPING TO TRANSFORM THE SOCIAL FABRIC OF A COUNTRY.
It’s an author’s dream come true – making the bestseller list week after week, traveling on a multi-city book tour, seeing your books fly off the bookstore shelves, and relishing in a bit of literary fame. For Steven Carter, the bestselling American author who once coined the phrase “commitmentphobia”, that dream has come true – in Brazil.
Two of Carter’s classic self-help books, “What Smart Women Know” and “Men Like Women Who Like Themselves,” originally published in the 1990’s, remained on the bestseller lists of Brazil’s biggest publications, including Folha de S. Paulo, Revista Epoca, and Revista Veja. For one book, it has now been a mind-bending 100 weeks. Recently, the Los Angeles Times published an article about Carter’s stunning success.
To read the article, cut and paste this link in your browser: http://www.latimes.com/features/books/la-et-self26-2008jul26,0,2920383.story
“It’s certainly the last thing in the world I expected" said Carter, who lives with his wife in Los Angeles, California.
Carter, the author of 20 books including seven national bestsellers and the New York Times bestseller “Men Who Can’t Love”, didn’t find out that his books were on Brazil’s bestseller lists until he received a royalty check in the mail.
“I thought I was going to have to return the check,” said Carter, “I was certain it was someone else’s money.” But after a few phone calls, it became clear to Carter that no mistake had been made.
Only certain American self-help books do well in the international market. But Brazil seems ripe for some American-style self-help.
Carter’s Brazilian publisher, Marcos Pereira, co-owner of the self-help and spirituality publishing company GMT Sextante, said that he expected Carter’s books to be solid sellers, knowing how strongly Brazilian women respond to well-written psychological material. But even Pereira has been a bit stunned by the numbers.
“What Smart Women Know” which sold almost half a million copies in the U.S., has already sold over 400,000 copies in Brazil. It’s sequel, “Men Like Women Who Like Themselves,” has already sold more than 100,000 copies.
“We are a very focused company in terms of our business -- one of the ways we try to find books is to establish what kinds of books would identify with the reader,” Pereira said. “The role of women in the Brazilian culture or economy has evolved,” he explained, “If you think of the U.S. 20 years ago, I think this is happening now in Brazil. Women are rethinking their roles.” “This rethinking is happening fast" adds Steven Carter, “Women are embracing their success and independence while firmly rejecting Brazil’s machismo past. And they’re ready to deal with the push back.”
Carter returned from his second tour of Brazil last weekend, a tour which included two evenings of book signings at the world’s largest book fair, the Bienal Internacional do Livros.
Despite Carter’s success and celebrity status in Brazil, he has yet to master Portuguese (he always has a translator at his interviews). But the language gap does not seem to throw him; he believes that the messages in his books are not lost in translation. Noted Carter, “There is something very universal about falling in love, about getting your heart broken, about picking up the pieces, about becoming whole again.”
Cut and paste this link in your web browser to read the complete L.A. Times article: http://www.latimes.com/features/books/la-et-self26-2008jul26,0,2920383.story
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