Can there be anyone in the world who has missed the hoo-ha surrounding the release of Dan Brown's latest novel, The Lost Symbol.
Booksellers across the land have been inundated with advance orders and queries about this most awaited of books. Sales are set to outstrip his previous block buster, The Da Vince Code with a first print run of millions.
At a time when the economy is on its knees and the publishing industry is feeling the pain, you'd imagine a feel good story of this magnitude would be greeted with joyful relief.
Getting the public into shops or on line stores can only spell good news. If a punter pops into Smiths for a copy of The Lost Symbol the chances are pretty high that he will walk out with something else too, particularly with all the discounting and special offers around to tempt the innocent. And who has ever placed an order on Amazon for just one book?
It's not rocket science. The more books people buy, the better authors' advances, the more new books get picked up.
Yet Dan Brown's success has, in some quarters, been met with only derision and sneering.
Hundreds of column inches in the loftier press have been devoted to rubbishing his latest effort, in much the same way that DVC was rubbished. 'It's not very well written,' sniffed one radio four presenter to a patient and extraordinarily gracious Kate Mosse. Who are any of us to say what is good or not, was her response.
Of course, everyone is entitled to their opinion. If someone reads TLS and finds it not to their taste, well, you know, shit happens. I don't love a lot of books I read. But it is hardly worth the tirade of condemnation that is currently pouring from the self appointed arbiters of good taste.
And that's the point really. The wave of sniping from the chattering commentators says more about them than the book in question. They did the same to JKR and Meyers. It's as if they take their stand point against Dan Brown precisely because he is so popular. If they loath what the common man likes, it sets them apart. It makes them cleverer, better...
Good old fashioned snobbery. Don't you just love it.
But here's the thing. The opinions of a handful of journos who live in North London and are still bitter about not being able to send their kids to private school, are neither here nor there, but it's very easy to get sucked in.
Frequently, I hear writers bemoaning the commercial success of Brown et al. If only it weren't for Harry Potter, my own genius would have been discovered...
But we must not fall into this lazy trap. As writers who are still seeking a publisher or whose published works have not sold like Brown ( and frankly, none of us have), there is no room for flippant mockery of those who have cracked it.
We shouldn't focus on the 'lack of texture', or the 'one dimensional characters.' We shouldn't focus on what is wrong with these stories, but what is right with them.
Whether we like it or not, Brown, JKR, and Meyers have touched the hearts of millions. Their message has reached an audience the size of which is usually reserved for religious leaders and Brad Pitt.
A writer who believes they have nothing to learn from the most successful authors of this generation are deluded, or arrogant, or both. Frankly they deserve their failures.
So fellow scribblers, as TLS remains at the top of the best sellers list for longer than Summer Loving was number one, banish bitterness from your heart.
Pick up a copy and read it with an open mind. You don't have to love it. You don't even have to like it.
Just ask yourself; what is right with this story.