Robert James Waller, meet your match. The Celestine Prophecy, the first novel by James Redfield, could be this year’s The Bridges of Madison County. Redfield, 43, an Alabama-based therapist, borrowed $20,000 to self-publish his book (about an ancient manuscript that contains nine insights into the human condition) in 1993. Distributed mainly to New Age bookstores, the novel became a cult hit, and major publishers started sniffing around. After a bidding war with Bantam, Warner Books won Prophecy for $800,000 and is shipping the repackaged novel this month. ”It’s a reflection of New Age meeting old age,” says Laurence J. Kirshbaum, president of Warner Books. ”Our only job (in making it a best-seller) is to not screw up.” The publisher has convinced major booksellers of Prophecy’s potential. ”Judging from how the self-published version is doing, they may be right,” says a spokesman from Waldenbooks. Meanwhile, Redfield is working on a sequel and taking his sudden good fortune in stride. His plans for the future: traveling. ”Money is just a tool,” says Redfield. ”And you can circulate the planet a little more with it.”
Posted February 18 1994 — 12:00 AM EST
- See Ryan Reynolds give Conan O’Brien a massage as Deadpool (with panda tears)
- Kevin Bacon campaigns for more male nudity in Hollywood in mock PSA
- See the red band trailer for Ryan Reynolds' 'Deadpool'
- 'Playing House' season 2 premiere react: Did you find the BFFs' return 'totes kewl'?
- 'SYTYCD' mentor blog: Travis Wall on that 'uncomfortable' Twitter save
- Casting Net: Will Smith replaces Hugh Jackman in 'Collateral Beauty'
- 9 spoilers on 'Grey’s Anatomy,' 'Scandal,' 'Murder'