Psychological suspense is the forte of Richard North Patterson and his latest chiller, Dark Lady, is finding fast favor with fans nationwide. The books jumps onto PW's list in the #2 slot one week after the August 24 national laydown. Patterson has done interviews with more than 20 top radio shows across the country during a satellite tour; a live segment for CNBC's Weekend Today on September 5; and on September 26, he will be a speaker at a literary brunch co-sponsored by the New York Times and New York Is Book Country. Dark Lady's first printing was 270,000 copies and after a fourth printing of 10,000 copies, the in-print total is up to 305,000.


Its first sighting was on the Boston Globe regional list, followed by a landing on the Independent Bestseller list; soon after, it enjoyed maneuvers on the nationals. We are talking about The Hungry Ocean by Linda Greenlaw, published by Hyperion in May with a 50,000 first printing. Ten trips to press later, that figure is up to 168,500. As we noted in mid-July, Greenlaw is the only working female swordfishing boat captain and she gained fame thanks to her part in Sebastian Junger's The Perfect Storm -- she was the captain of the sister ship to the Andrea Gail and was one of the last to speak to the ship before it went down. Luckily for Hyperion, instead of doing her usual summer lobstering off the coast of Maine, Greenlaw hit the road to promote her book. She has made more than 50 bookstore appearances in the past four months. A People feature and segment on CBS Sunday Morning helped sell the books, and the author will continue making appearances throughout New England this fall. Still to be scheduled is a Today show interview.


Algonquin Books figures that it started the ocean-voyage book trend with its bestselling 1995 memoir My Old Man and the Sea: A Father and Son Sail Around Cape Horn by David Hays and Daniel Hays. Now the house is hoping to land another ocean adventure on the national charts --Godforsaken Sea: Racing the World's Most Dangerous Waters by Derek Lundy. Lundy will be a keynoter at the Great Lakes Booksellers convention and will also tour the fall sailing shows. First printing for the July title was 25,000; and a second brings the total to 32,500 books. Right now the book is making waves just below the top 15 hardcover nonfiction bestsellers on the national charts and it has climbed to #8 on the August 29 San Francisco Chronicle list.


One of the most successful summer movies is The Blair Witch Project. It has grossed about $130 million since it was previewed at Sundance this past spring; the movie cost considerably less than $100,000 (the touted range is anywhere from $35,000 to $60,000) to make. The film was released in mid-July in the art houses and by the end of that month was in nationwide release. The video release is scheduled for October 22 -- just in time for Halloween. NowThe Blair Witch Project: A Dossier, compiled by D.A. Stern, from Onyx is moving up the trade paper charts across the country. First printing was 43,000, and the current total, after nine trips to press, is 267,000.


Gibbs Smith is saying just that as it notches more than 30,000 copies in print after five trips to press for its gift book The Lesson, an illustrated novella for adults by Carol Lynn Pearson. According to the publisher, most of those 30,000 copies went to independents, who successfully handsold the book. For instance, Wisebird Bookery in Ogden, Utah sold about 400 copies. Owner/manager Shanna Tobin said, "We have customers who buy 10 or 12 copies at a time. It just seems to appeal to everyone." Gibbs-Smith v-p of sales and marketing Christoper Robbins noted that one of the national chains has placed an advance order of 5000 copies of Pearson's upcoming book, What Love Is, after learning about the high number of special orders for The Lesson.