Everyone loves a maverick and this week, self-publishing's new guru, Hugh Howey, hits our Trade Paperback list at #15 with his post-apocalyptic, traditionally published (with Simon & Schuster) sci-fi novel, Wool, with sales of hardcover and trade paper, released simultaneously, coming very close to 7,000 (with the bulk of those numbers coming from paper). Howey has been no stranger to publishing success, however, ever since 2011 when the Wool series started as a short story. Wool went on to hit the Kindle bestseller lists after Howey responded to his online fans with more installments. According to senior publicist Jessica Zimmerman, Wool has sold 350,000 e-books. However, Howey's S&S deal doesn't include digital rights. As reported in PW last April, Howey was reluctant to sign deals that would mean "giving up a 70% royalty for an 18% royalty." Solution was a contract for print only, "unheard of" in today's market. Howie recently took his self-publishing success story to SXSW 2013 (did we mention that the movie deal from 20th century Fox has Ridley Scott attached?), and while we know there's not so many winning lottery tickets out there, we're still glad to know that with talent, some luck and a lot of savvy, dreams can come true.—Louisa Ermelino
S&S reports that, on the road, Wool fans are mobbing bookstores to meet Howey in person— and buy the book. During his 12-city tour, which wraps on March 26, Howey's events have drawn upwards of a hundred people at every stop thus far, with fans buying multiple copies. Here are the numbers:
|Houston/Murder by the Book||40||65|
|Kansas City/Rainy Day||60||68|
The Way to Hormonal Health
Estrogen, thyroid, cortisol—imbalances in these and other hormones may be the root cause of many women's health problems. Entering the Hardcover Nonfiction list at #11, Dr. Sara Gottfried's The Hormone Cure: Reclaim Balance, Sleep, Sex Drive & Vitality Naturally with the Gottfried Protocol uses a combination of science and alternative medicine to solve hormonal imbalances, which can cause weight gain, sleeplessness, diminished sex drive, fatigue, and depression. Gottfried, a Harvard- and MIT-trained integrative physician, gynecologist, and yoga instructor, who runs the Gottfried Center for Integrative Medicine in Oakland, Calif., offers readers the Gottfried Protocol, an integrative three-step approach. Readers complete a 120-question survey to determine their problems, identify the root causes of their symptoms, and find the right treatment plan. PW called the book "scientifically advanced yet deeply humane," and said that readers "will be cheered by [Gottfried's] appealing sense of humor and disarming candor." In addition to talk radio interviews and coverage of the book in upcoming issues of First for Women, Prevention, Real Simple, Self, O, and Women's Day, Gottfried will be interviewed on the Today Show on April 11, and has a busy roster of speaking engagements through the end of the year.—Jessamine Chan
With a sassy title like The Supremes at Earl's All-You-Can-Eat, one could be forgiven for thinking this might be a fictional re-telling of Diana Ross's early years in Motown. Instead, Edward Kelsey Moore's fetching debut novel, which snags the #20 spot on this week's Hardcover Fiction list, centers around three girlfriends in the '60s—Odette, Clarice, and Barbara Jean—who hang out at the first black-owned business in their small Indiana town. Author Moore, a professional cellist living in Chicago, says he was inspired to write the book because of his fond memories overhearing the women in his family while growing up. "Even when I was too young to fully understand the adult subject matter of their conversations, I was struck by how quickly the topics veered from heartbreakingly tragic to wildly hilarious. I was also amazed that the aunts and cousins who had the hardest and saddest lives were always the funniest people at the table." Moore experimented with writing short stories during high school, but after finishing his education he set writing aside and focused on building a career in music. Some years later, he was performing at a reception for the winners of a writing contest and was moved to return to his writing. Although The Supremes has been likened to The Help and Fried Green Tomatoes, editor Carole Baron is quick to point out that "with memorable characters like a fake fortune-teller and the ghost of a drunken Eleanor Roosevelt, this one's hard to beat." The novel went on sale March 12 with 45,000 copies, and bookseller enthusiasm propelled the book onto both the IndieNext and B&N Discover lists. Based on strong previews and an enticing EW notice—"[the author] shows a seasoned ease with his funny, damaged subjects… You'll be casting the movie by the second chapter"—Knopf has already gone back for a second printing.—Dick Donahue
What We Talk About When We Talk About Rob
Seems like the only way the pope can make waves these days is by getting out of the water. Rob Bell, on the other hand, is determined to throw the best pool party Christianity has ever seen, and everyone's invited—just a few days ago, the "love covers all"–preaching pastor declared his endorsement of gay marriage to an audience at San Francisco's Grace Cathedral: "I am for marriage. I am for fidelity. I am for love, whether it's a man and woman, a woman and a woman, a man and a man… [T]his is the world we are living in and we need to affirm people wherever they are." Bell's willingness to look past denominational strictures for a better, bigger sense of who God is has made him wildly popular with young, left-leaning Christians. What We Talk About When We Talk About God debuts at #15 on our Hardcover Nonfiction list. Mark Tauber, senior v-p and publisher of HarperOne, reports that events in support of the book have been "very well attended," adding that the Twittersphere has been over abuzz with Bell-related chatter. Though Bell left the pulpit of his Mars Hill Bible Church in 2011, his flock is only growing.—Samuel R. Slaton
Fighting Over Land
C.J. Box's Breaking Point, his 13th novel featuring Wyoming game warden Joe Pickett, debuts at #7 on the Hardcover Fiction list. Wyoming construction company owner Butch Roberson flees into the wilderness after the EPA tags him as the prime suspect in the killing of two armed EPA agents. Butch has a grudge against the EPA for declaring as protected wetland a tract of land upon which he and his wife hoped to build their retirement home. In an afterword, Box states that the book's premise is based on a true story. Mike and Chantelle Sackett of Nordman, Idaho, faced a similar battle with the EPA over the status of their property. They fought the case all the way to the Supreme Court and won in a 9-0 decision.
The three-week tour started as always in Box's home state of Wyoming and then moved to Denver, Scottsdale, Ariz., five different cities in Florida, St. Louis, and Houston. His crowd of 175 at Denver's Tattered Cover was the biggest ever there, while he had more than 200 people at the St. Louis County Library. Additional appearances will take place in Virginia, Minneapolis, and three cities in Wyoming.
On March 21, Sen. Mike Enzi of Wyoming hosted a dinner for 47 other Republican senators at this home in Washington, D.C., and presented each of them with a copy of Breaking Point along with a paperback copy of Box's first Joe Pickett novel, Open Season.—Peter Cannon