Author of 'The Secret', Rhona Byrne

Rhona Byrne, the woman who sold 19 million books assuring people that their wishful thinking could actually make their dreams come true, has suddenly gotten stage fright.

Author of the wildly successful self-help book The Secret, Byrne will release the books follow up The Power today, and its expected to have a similarly seismic impact. (The sequel's already number 36 on Amazon's list of best-selling books - talk about help me, Rhona).

But although The Power will be a major publishing event on a par with the Harry Potter novels, Byrne has kept surprisingly quiet, granting no interviews and shying away from doing any publicity at all.

So in Byrne's absence, the book's publisher Atria Books is kicking off a promotional campaign that combines radio ads, TV spots and billboards.

Of course that means that Byrne's army of fans are speculating like crazy on the reasons she might be avoiding the limelight. Firstly they're saying she wants the book to speak for itself.

That suggestion was echoed by Judith Curr, the publisher and executive vice president of Atria Books. Rather than face the cameras, Byrne decided to let the book speak for itself.

The second theory is that Byrne just doesn't like doing the promotional circuit. Having your picture taken, signing books, fielding questions from her adoring public just aren't that enticing. This idea is backed up by the fact that Byrne hasn't given a major interview since 2008.

Thirdly, and more more likely, if she does go out in public, she'll have to address her growing number of critics.

Not everyone believes we can exercise vast influence over our own lives through unwavering positive thinking. I mean if that were true how would explain the immigration crisis? Or generational poverty? Or the worst recession in decades? Or cancer? By believing that good things will happen to you, Byrne asserts, you can bend fate to your will. Many people simply don't buy it.

Fourth theory, and the most persuasive one to date is that if you can really manipulate events just by believing that good things will happen to you, why bother getting out of bed? I mean isn't good fortune beating a path to your door already? So why not put on the coffee and relax, by lunch time you'll have won the lottery. Maybe that explains her absence.