Intercourse, Pa., publisher Good Books, known for its bestselling Fix-It and Forget-It cookbooks, has another bestseller on its hands. The Mayo Clinic Diet is the first diet book the house has ever published, and, as publisher Merle Good said, “It’s always rewarding to step into a new field and go straight to the top.” The book went on sale January 1 and debuted at #1 on the New York Times’s hardcover advice list for the week ending January 9 and held the spot for the week ending January 16. The book is in the #9 spot on PW’s hardcover nonfiction list this week.
Good Books went out with a 200,000-copy first printing of the $25.99 book and immediately reprinted another 100,000 before the book went on sale. Another reprint is pending. A companion book, The Mayo Clinic Diet Journal, started off at 38,000 copies, and the house is rushing through another 20,000. “We are watching both inventories very carefully and expect to reprint both books again shortly,” said Good. “Reorders are coming in at an incredible pace from all quarters, and we plan to stay ahead of it.” Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Barnes & Noble, and Borders are among the buyers that Good characterized as being “in the rush, panic mode.”
The Mayo Clinic Diet is the second book Good Books has published in cooperation with the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minn., following The Fix-It and Enjoy-It Healthy Cookbook in 2008. Phyllis Good authored that book, with Mayo Clinic experts and staff offering nutritional expertise. It has sold more than 100,000 copies, and Good said it’s “really picking up steam again.” The new diet book was authored entirely by Mayo Clinic experts, although Good said he and his staff worked closely with Mayo on shaping the project over a two-year period.
Good credits the Mayo Clinic brand with playing a big role in the book’s success. “Mayo Clinic registers in poll after poll as the most trusted name in health care and expertise in the country,” he said. He also noted that the book’s full-color format and unthreatening layout and text give it an “I-can-do-this” feel. The publisher used the phrase “Sensible is the new fad” in advertising, which Good thinks also contributed to a high level of interest despite the typical January glut of gimmicky diet titles.
Good Books has “several” additional books with the Mayo Clinic in the works, said Good: “It’s been a very good partnership.”