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Behind the Bestsellers
Daisy Maryles -- 1/17/00

Hitting the Right Spot

On both hardcover charts, a new book takes the lead after just one week on sale. In fiction, Nelson DeMille's 10th novel, The Lion's Game, roars into first place. The book brings back John Corey, the hero from his last bestseller, Plum Island. Warner launched the new book on January 6 with a 600,000 printing. DeMille's reviews have been stellar, beginning with a starred PW that said the author "artfully constructs a compulsively readable thriller." Lots of features, radio and TV ads and a 15-city tour that runs through March should keep the cash registers ringing. Warner estimates there are more than 30 million copies in print worldwide of DeMille's books. That figure will only increase as Columbia Pictures has just optioned both this book and Plum Island. Mace Neufeld (General's Daughter, Patriot Games, Hunt for Red October) is slated to produce.

World Wrestling Federation fans are a large and fast-moving group, landing a second national bestseller on the charts in less than three months. Leading the nonfiction pack is The Rock Says¦ by The Rock with J Layden. ReganBooks had a January 5 laydown and is planning a second printing to supplement the more than 500,000 books already in play. The Rock, also known to his fans as "the Chosen One," "The Brahma Bull" and "The People's Champion" began life as Dwayne Johnson; a third-generation wrestler, his career path was determined when he hit six feet, 140 pounds at age 13. Regan's other WWF bestseller, Have a Nice Day, also has more than 500,000 copies in print.

It's a Dog-Eat-Dog World
Nothing brightens a harsh winter day more than the thought of a restful trip to Florida. Unless, of course, you're a character in a Carl Hiaasen novel. His latest, Sick Puppy, features all sorts of eccentrics, including a nerdy ecoterrorist, a litterbugging political bigshot, a governor who's an ex-car salesman and a crooked land developer with a Barbie fetish. Knopf launched the book with a 200,000 first printing and a one-day January 4 laydown. The author has appeared on The Today Show and Later Today, and has taped interviews for Charlie Rose and NPR. USA Today, the NYTBR, Newsday and the Miami Herald all ran howling good reviews. Hiassen kicked off his tour at the Key West Island Bookshop January 7, where more than 350 books were sold. After big turnouts in D.C, New York and Boston, his dog-and-pony show heads to Atlanta, Ph nix, Milwaukee, Kansas City, Minneapolis and the West Coast, and then back to his home state, where he'll sign and do local media. No doubt he'll be dog-tired.

The Big Cheese
Q. What do Southwest Airlines, Mercedes Benz and the Bank of Hawaii have in common? A. They all bought their employees copies of Who Moved My Cheese?, which marks its third week on our nonfiction chart. Procter & Gamble CEO Durk Jager recommended the book in a company-wide e-mail and recently retired Hewlett Packard CEO Lew Platt featured it in a major address, saying, "Change is not going to stop. Somebody will keep moving the cheese." Spencer Johnson's timely parable about change (cheese, he says, is the metaphor for what's important in our lives) has been #1 on both the Business Weekly and WSJ Business Book Bestseller Lists for nearly a year, and last month was named the bestselling business book of 1999 by USA Today. The work has been featured in Fortune and the Washington Post, and an interview with Johnson appeared last week on bn.com. Published by Putnam back in September 1998, the book now boasts 700,000 copies in print after 35 trips back to press; first printing was 95,000.

With reporting by Dick Donahue.
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