Rivals not 'clearing the deck' for Brown

<p>Rival publishers took a philosophical approach to Dan Brown&#39;s sudden arrival on the autumn schedule. Headline deputy m.d. Kerr McRae said the publisher would not be changing its release dates to avoid a clash with The Lost Symbol. He said: &quot;My view is that the Dan Brown phenomenon will bring people into shops and I will sell more of my authors&#39; books because of him.&quot;</p><p>McRae added: &quot;The question is, will Brown dominate the bestseller lists up to Christmas? We&#39;re on for the fight. We publish Martina Cole in her usual spot in mid-October; she&#39;ll be the main competition and we&#39;ll be aiming to sell more than ever.&quot;</p><p>HarperCollins group sales director David Roche also said that he expected the Brown effect to work for other authors. &quot;If someone has one book at the top of their Christmas list, the chances are they will buy more books.&quot; He added that fiction is less important in relation to non-fiction in the Christmas market. Roche added: &quot;We&#39;re not sitting in emergency planning meetings to reschedule books because of Dan Brown.&quot;</p><p>At Pan Macmillan, sales director Geoff Duffield said the publisher was viewing the news as a &quot;strategic opportunity&quot;, given that <em>The Lost Symbol </em>would bring a massive media focus on books. He said: &quot;We&#39;re not clearing the decks, but it would be futile to try to put one of your fiction brand authors up against Dan Brown. We are looking at our programme, and thinking how we can make the most of it.&quot; He added: &quot;It will be an event.&quot;</p><p>Meanwhile Random House Group communications director Maureen Corish declined to comment on whether Random would reschedule its own autumn titles now that Brown is to be released. However, Cornerstone m.d. Susan Sandon said: &quot;We&#39;ve got an amazingly strong line-up of fiction, with Robert Harris, James Patterson and John Grisham, but it all seems to work and there&#39;s no clash of the Titans.&quot;</p>