SUMMER'S RAT DAYS
War of the Rats, a thriller by David L. Robbins about the siege of Stalingrad, one of the fiercest battles during WWII, continues to hover below the top 15 on our Fiction bestseller list. The Bantam book has enjoyed stellar reviews (PW called it "a riveting account of a battle within a battle") and great prepublication raves from authors W.E.B. Griffith and Frederick Forsyth and from booksellers nationwide. Robbins did extensive research for the book, which is based on a true story, including traveling to Russia to conduct interviews with several of the survivors of the battle. Many independents are ranking the book among their top 15 and it is climbing the charts at the chains, too. To date there are about 50,000 copies in print after three trips to press.
A WELL-KNOWN HEALER
For Dr. John E. Sarno, his book success is not just about what he knows but also who he knows (actually, who he treats). 20/20 correspondent John Stossel, one of Sarno's patients, did a profile of the doctor back in April, which ABC rebroadcast on July 25. The segment featured two Sarno books -- Healing Back Pain (#5 on this week's trade paper bestseller chart) and The Mind Body Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain (both published by Warner). The new bestseller was first published in 1991 with a 16,000-copy first printing; now the total in print is 450,000, and that's after 23 trips to press. Two additional printings totaling 75,000 copies are now scheduled. The second book was published in hardcover in May 1998 with a 22,500 first printing; total in print after eight trips to press is 82,000. The publisher is planning a trade paper edition in October with a 36,000-copy first print run. On August 10, Dr. Sarno will be the main focus on Larry King Live. That show will include a telephone interview with Howard Stern, another Sarno patient.
Bestselling psychic Sylvia Browne is back on the national charts with The Other Side and Back, a guide to understanding psychic and paranormal experiences. There are now 145,000 copies in print of the Dutton hardcover, which went on sale August 2. On that date, Montel Williams devoted his entire show to the author and the impact on book sales was immediate. The show re-aired August 9 in 18 markets. Browne is on a 10-city media and lecture tour through the end of this month, and also has a few appearances scheduled for September.
SEE SYLVIA WIN
Noted child psychologist Sylvia Rimm and her two daughters (one a research psychologist; the other a pediatric oncology researcher) conducted an intense three-year survey among more than 1000 satisfied women who have achieved success in their careers. The results make up the new bestseller See Jane Run: The Rimm Report on How 1,000 Girls Became Successful Women. Total copies in print of the Crown title is 55,000. Not bad, when one considers that the first printing was set at 15,000. Some of the events that buoyed sales included Rimm's appearances on Today at the end of June and Oprah in mid-July.
Hovering just below our nonfiction top 15 is Eleanor Roosevelt, Volume 2, 1933 -- 1938; the Viking title has already hit the following lists nationwide: New York Newsday, the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Los Angeles Times and the Boston Globe, plus the Independent Bestseller list. On June 28, author Blanche Wiesen Cook kicked off a 10-city tour with a Today appearance and a front-page review by Maureen Dowd in the New York Times Book Review. NPR aired an interview with Cook on July 1 and both Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com featured the book on their Biography pages and home pages. Cook's book signings "have been packed all the way across the country," said Viking senior publicist Alisa Wyatt. First printing was 66,000 copies; one trip back to press has raised that figure to 71,400.
With reporting by Dick Donahue.