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Small Title from Seven Stories Reaps Big Sales
Steven M. Zeitchik -- 9/7/98
As media momentum continues to roll, the memoir of a homeless man has brought strong bookseller interest and a peculiar order from Barnes &Noble.
According to Seven Stories Press, which published Lee Stringer's Grand Central Winter, an initial print run of 4000 copies has ballooned into 45,000 and the independent press expects to soon have a total of 60,000 copies in print.

Last week Barnes &Noble placed a order of 11,000 copies, nonreturnable. B&N buyer Sallye Leventhal said, "We didn't want Seven Stories to end up with 11,000 copies in their backyard."

The chain originally had stocked only a few hundred copies nationwide. But then lengthy articles in the New York Times, USA Today and others -- in addition to interest from the house's distributor, Publishers Group West president Charlie Winton -- have spurred bookseller and reader attention and put Seven Stories in the remarkable position of a shot at the bestseller lists, rare for a press of its size. The press has also signed up Stringer for his next book, a novel tentatively titled Short Sugar's Last Boo.

Seven Stories publisher Dan Simon discovered Stringer while reading Street News, a newspaper edited and published by New York's homeless, on a stalled subway car. Within a week he had signed up Stringer, who's slated to appear on Oprah.

"This is a book we did for the right reasons, not thinking it would sell a lot. Lee wanted to get through it and tell the story right," Simon said. "Now it's turned inside out. It's not a question of what we've been able to do for him but what a great thing he's doing for us."
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