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Grisham Rules
Daisy Maryles, with Dick Donahue -- 2/16/98
Most people would have happily bet their life savings on the fact that John Grisham's The Street Lawyer would be the country's #1 bestselling fiction title as soon as it hit the stores, but there would have been no naysayers.Indeed, with Doubleday's laydown date of February 4 and a hefty first printing of 2.8 million, it's no surprise that Grisham's latest lands at the #1 spot in hardcover during its first week -- and that the Dell Island edition of The Partner continues its hold on the top mass market spot for the fifth week in a row (its first printing was 3.8 million). To generate buzz for Street Lawyer, Doubleday ran ads in the New York Times, USA Today, and the Wall Street Journal featuring a partial first chapter and listing an email address (www.TheStreetLawyer@JGrisham.com) where fans could get the full chapter. About 30,000 people signed on within one week. Grisham's tour, dubbed by some the "Southern loyalty tour," consists mainly of signings at bookstores that helped him when he was but a struggling first novelist. Fans will be greeting the author this month at Reeds Gumtree Bookstore in Tupelo, Miss., Square Books in Oxford, Miss., Lemuria Bookstore in Jackson, Miss., Burke's in Memphis, Tenn., and That Bookstore in Blytheville (Ark.). Grisham is the "undisputed sales leader in the world," according to Market Partners' Publishing Trends newsletter. In the newsletter's breakdown of international bestsellers for 1997, The Partner indexed at nearly triple the #2 book, Ken Follet's The Third Twin.

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