Self-help gurus plan to cash in on the Twilight generation
The first 'Secret' book was a bestseller, and now a spin-off promises teens they can 'live their dreams'
Sunday 26 July 2009
It is the self-help publishing phenomenon that has made millions by promising health, wealth and happiness to those in possession of The Secret. Now, its promoters are set to cash in on the lucrative teen market with a book aimed at the youngsters dubbed "the Twilight generation".
Booksellers hope that The Secret to Teen Power, a spin-off from Rhonda Byrne's 2006 bestseller, will mimic the success of author Stephenie Meyer's incredibly popular teen vampire series, Twilight, by appealing to the hordes of teenagers who feel they don't fit in.
"There aren't a lot of books in the teen self-help area, and if you look at something like the Twilight series, it is all about kids who are square pegs in round holes, trying to work out how they fit into society," said Jon Howells, a spokesman for Waterstone's. "There is a lot of potential for them to cash in if they get it right."
Written by Paul Harrington, who produced the DVD version of The Secret, the new book promises to show "how teens can transform their own lives and live their dreams, by understanding and using the power they have in their hands".
Publisher Simon Pulse, the teen division of Simon & Schuster, is expecting huge demand for the book, and planns an initial print run of 500,000 copies. "The Secret has been a vitally important book. Sharing this with a teen audience will allow teens to live life to their fullest potential," said Bethany Buck of Simon Pulse, who is editing the book. It is set to hit UK shelves on 16 September.
Mr Howells added: "The Secret has been the best-selling book in the self-help category for the last two years, and we would have very high hopes for any sequel."
Originally released as a DVD in 2006, The Secret quickly became an international hit, boosted by the endorsement of celebrities such as the US talk-show queen Oprah Winfrey, who sent sales soaring when she waxed lyrical about its philosophy on Larry King's talk show.
Two books, The Secret and a companion volume, The Secret Gratitude Book, swiftly followed the film. At one point the book of The Secret topped the New York Times bestseller list, while the DVD was at number one in the Amazon chart.
The book argues that positive thinking – or the "law of attraction" – can help individuals to achieve whatever they want in life, and claims that it was this philosophy which helped greats such as Plato and Einstein achieve success.
The Secret of Teen Power will also centre on this law of attraction, but will focus on applying it to school, self-image, friendships and relationships. The Secret has been credited with reviving the market for self-help books, and has been compared to classics such as The Road Less Travelled and Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway.
"Its success has been one of the major contributing factors in the strong growth of self-help titles, with sales of these books up 40 per cent over the past three years," said Ben Howes, a spokesman for Amazon.
Despite its continuing popularity, the book has been widely criticised for its quasi-mystical, pseudo-historical tone and its incredible claims.
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