Sunday, January 8, 2012

What Sold Last Week? Film Stuff, Plus a Few New Releases That Were Upcoming Events.

Oops! Folks who got an email with the rank list had Readme several slots higher than it was supposed to be. When I was creating the list, I sorted the categories wrong and Readme wound up in nonfiction, leaving me to add it back in incorrectly. It actually should have been #7.

Am curious about folks who put Goodnight iPad in nonfiction when it's not by mistake due to problematic category sorting, which happens to us all the time. Do you think this book actually happened?

Hardcover Fiction:
1. Death Comes to Pemberley, by P.D. James
2. American Dervish, by Ayad Akhtar
3. Goodnight iPad, by Ann Droyd
4. 1Q84, by Haruki Murakami
5. State of Wonder, by Ann Patchett

Alas, Journal Sentinel reivewer Mike Fischer didn't like American Dervish as much as Adam Langer in The New York Times did. I'm hoping to have a friendly debate with him at one point, but I will just say that if my customers, many of them as eruidite as book reviewers, had their way, many review-proof titles, from A Visit from the Goon Squad to The Art of Fielding to The Tiger's Wife would have gotten slammed somewhere. Interestingly enough, I haven't gotten anyone complaining to me about The Sense of an Ending yet. It's coming, don't worry.

Hardcover Nonfiction:
1. A Little History of Philosophy, by Nigel Warburton
2. The Swerve, by Stephen Greenblatt
3. In the Garden of Beasts, by Erik Larson
4. The Journal of Best Practices, by David Finch
5. Pity the Billionaire, by Thomas Frank

Thomas Frank is also featured on the front page of The New York Times Book Review  today so based on our sales patterns, you should see Pity the Billionaire on next week's bestseller list as well. Regarding Nigel Warburton's late sales pop, he was helped along by one particularly enthusiastic customer buying late holiday gifts.

David Finch, author of The Journal of Best Practices, is coming to Boswell Tuesday, January 17. I just got another read on the book from Mel. I'm hoping to have a nice blog post about the book this week. Did you ever have a dream where you thought you wrote something but maybe you didn't?

Paperback Fiction:
1. The Tiger's Wife, by Téa Obreht
2. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson
3. Swamplandia, by Karen Russell
4. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, by John Le Carre
5. The Girl who Played with Fire, by Stieg Larsson

Still a lot of filmy stuff on the lists. And so many editions of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy in our system, and that's excluding second hand copies. We had the previous edition from Scribner, the new Penguin edition, and the even-newer Penguin tie-in edition. As is our wont, we sell the non-tie-in cover better (pictured), but we wind up bringing in the tie-in just in case the publisher lets reprints go on the original. It happens!

Further down, Rosamund Lupton's Sister is selling pretty well off the front tables. We're up to 9 copies sold, which I was impressed with, until I saw that the hardcover, which came out last June (another speed up), sold 6 copies. I guess this seems like a good reason to speed things up--our sale after the initial pop was minimum, so I suspect what's really going on here is not a question of making sure readers are still aware of the title, but of earning back the advance faster. Needless to say, with the rise of ebook sales, which we don't even track when we sell the book, we're more out of the loop than ever while publishers have better than ever sales info.

In short, I'm happy to sell the 9, as long as at the cycle isn't speeded up so much that I'm no longer selling the 6. We'll see how it goes. Oh, and we also had a sales pop on Leigh Stein's The Fallback Plan (event is Wednesday, January 11) and Nathan Englander's For the Relief of Unbearable Urges (event for new story collection in February).

Paperback Nonfiction"
1. Why We Get Fat, by Gary Taubes
2. Bossypants, by Tina Fey
3. The Warmth of Other Suns, by Ingrid Wilkerson
4. The Hare with Amber Eyes, by Edmund de Waal
5. The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin

Our #1 book was partly a bulk sale, but since it has some individual sales too and was brand new, we included it. This Science magazine contributor whose work has appeared in Best American Science Writing looks at diet theory from the last century, and comes down hard on the calories in, calories out model.

Books for Kids:
1. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins
2. Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins
3. Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins
4. Mouse and Lion, by Rand and Nancy Burkert
5. The Chronicles of Harris Burdick, by Chris Van Allsburg and Friends

When does that film come out again? March 23.

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