'The Eight Mountains,' Paolo Cognetti's debut novel about the friendship between two boys, has racked up an impressive roster of foreign sales. The book, which is shortlisted for Italy's prestigious Strega Prize, has also been on the Italian bestseller list for 20 weeks now.
Book title: Le Otto Montagne (in English, The Eight Mountains)
First published by: Einaudi in October 2016
Author: Paolo Cognetti is the author of several short stories collections, including Il ragazzo selvatico (2013); The Eight Mountains is his first novel.
Editor: Paola Gallo
How It’s Done: The book was one of the hot titles at last year’s Frankfurt Book Fair and has sold in almost 30 countries. It has also remained, as of this writing, on the Italian GfK bestseller list for 20 weeks. (GfK is a media company that publishes lists of top-selling albums and books for various countries in Europe.) It was most recently #13 on the Italian fiction section of the GfK list.
Why They Think It’s Working: Gallo feels the title was helped by several marketing efforts, including TV appearances and strong bookseller outreach; she noted that a number of booksellers had been fans of the author's previous work. The book was also published during the Christmas season, which Gallo thinks helped "increase its word-of-mouth popularity."