Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Paperback Bestsellers include Media Mentions, Author Recs, Regional Titles, and an Impending Movie Opening.

The New York Times Book Review top 10 of 2011 helped The Tiger's Wife and Swamplandia with a sales pop. I'm hoping that my mention of The White Woman on the Green Bicycle on the NPR blog might get a little more traction for that book. Apprarently we also had at least one person come into the store after I talked about the book at the Shorewood Public Library. Whatever it takes, right?

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Tiger's Wife, by Téa Obreht
2. A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan
3. Swamplandia, by Karen Russell
4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson
5. The All of It, by Jeannette Haien
6. Room, by Emma Donoghue
7. Skippy Dies, by Paul Murray
8. The Girl who Played with Fire, by Stieg Larsson
9. The White Woman on the Green Bicycle, by Monique Roffey
10. The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey, by Walter Mosley

I could have mentioned that events have lasting sales by noting that three of our top 6 hardcover fiction titles are from recent Boswell guests. But I think that the paperback list is a better indicator. We're closing in on 100 copies of The All of It, jump-started by Ann Patchett's recommendation. We're #3 in the country on this book, and it's my suspicion that the other two stores above us ran with Patchett's rec, and the ones below us ignored it.

And Walter Mosley's The Last Day so Ptolemy Grey (we're also #3 on Treeline with this book) is partly a function of an appearance for another bookstore, which, we helped promote, and also admittedly, the paperback wasn't quite out yet. But the talk was great, and the word of mouth has turned out to be his best that I've seen in a number of years. Let's see if we can keep it going.

Sales pop return for Stieg Larsson's books with the impending opening of the English language version of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo on December 21. We're still trying to figure out how to position our metal sign!

Paperback Nonfiction:
1. Gimbels Has It!, by Michael J. Lisicky
2. Andy Warhol's New York, by Thomas Kiedrowski
3. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot
4. The Hare with Amber Eyes, by Edmund de Waal
5. Your True Home, by Thich Nhat Hanh
6. Cleopatra, by Stacy Schiff
7. At Home, by Bill Bryson
8. Unlikely Friendships, by Jennifer Holland
9. The Death and Life of the Great American School System, by Diane Ravitch
10. Bay View, by Ron Winkler

One trend you would never imagined is that we are often not contacted by publishers about books of local interest. I think I've already mentioned that we had to find out about and chase copies of We Are Wisconsin: The Wisconsin Uprising in the Words of the Activists, Writers, and Everyday Wisconsinites Who Made It Happen (#17 on our nonfiction paperback list this week) from a customer. And we also inadvertently discovered that we didn't find out in advance about Arcadia's Bay View book. Maybe the publisher and rep didn't realize that Bay View is a neighborhood in Milwaukee, that a lot of Bay Viewers shop on the East Side where my store is located, being less than ten minutes by car door to door when you take the Hoan Bridge. Or that I live there. Very strange.

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