Looks like sales are starting to come together in the U.S. for the British bestseller Come Together, a he said/she said comic love story written by 20-something British novelists Emlyn Rees and Josie Lloyd.
After it was featured as a Beach Book of the Week in People magazine (July 5), sales of the April Villard release jumped from negligible to in the hundreds at main bookselling outlets for the week.
Of course, at 15,000 copies in print here, the book still has quite a way to go to match its homeland success: Come Together, which attracted a six-figure deal in the U.K., was a bestseller there, and now has 300,000 copies in print. The book's highest ranking was #3 on the London Sunday Times list (just behind Grisham); it was #1 on the Independent's bestseller list.
What attracted the Brits to Come Together was its charming backstory: Lloyd had written the popular single-girl book, It Could Be You. She met Rees, also a writer, who was then serving as an assistant at her literary agent, Curtis Brown.
"I'd moan to him about the sorry state of my love life and he would give practical male advice like, 'Don't expect him to phone. He won't,'"Lloyd recalled to a London newspaper.
Before long, the writers started collaborating on the novel about the meeting and subsequent romance of 20-something Brits Jack and Amy. Art imitated life -- the two scribes fell in love during the writing process.
Villard initially planned a six-city tour for the authors, but ran into some difficulty getting media attention for this happy-ending story, just as everyone (PW included) became obsessed with the tons of Bridget Jones clones this summer.
Although they haven't been here in person, the authors are a bit more visible than is typical: their attractive faces grace the front cover of the book.
What comes next here in the U.S. remains to be seen, although the authors' future is set: they'll marry in the fall. They've also written sequel, Come Again, which is due to be published in the U.K. this fall (Villard will evaluate ComeTogether's performance before making a second U.S. deal.)
The movies also have beckoned --Come Together has been optioned by Working Title Films, the folks who brought us Four Weddings and a Funeral. But here, too, Bridget came first: an adaptation of Helen Fielding's novel is in the works there as well.