[ PW Home ] [ Bestsellers ] [ Subscribe ] [ Search ]

Publishers Weekly Bestsellers

Behind the Bestsellers
Daisy Maryles -- 1/10/00

Movie Madness

Vintage covers
There are an unusual number of books on the bestseller charts that are getting at least some of their sales impetus from movies -- three on the mass market list and four on the trade paper list, to be exact. Vintage is the publisher of David Guterson's Snow Falling on Cedars, Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr. Ripley and Susanna Kaysen's Girl, Interrupted. Its sister imprint, Anchor, is the publisher of the fourth trade paper bestseller, Jane Hamilton's A Map of the World. With all this movie tie-in activity, it's no surprise that a special Web site (www.vintagebooks.com/ screen) has been launched.

Snow was originally published in the Vintage edition in 1995; there are more than 2.5 million copies in print. Backlisted at 20,000 copies per month before the movie buzz started, and now with the movie tie-in edition, the in-print total is now more than three million. Book/movie promotion coordination has been strong, with Universal running teaser book ads in the months before the film release. Guterson and director Scott Hicks made several joint appearances.

The Vintage Black Lizard edition of Highsmith's book was published in 1992; the original hardcover was published back in 1955 by Coward McCann. There are now 150,000 copies of the movie tie-in edition and Vintage has its finger on the reprint button for more. Lots of publicity for the Miramax movie has led readers to discover Highsmith, author of the Ripley series also reprinted by Vintage. The publisher reports that this book and Vintage's other movie tie-in -- Girl, Interrupted -- were two of the most requested paperbacks of the holiday season. Kaysen's book was published by Vintage in 1994. Currently, there are 150,00 copies of the tie-in edition.

Anchor's Map was the December Oprah pick, which usually guarantees a bestseller. The Oprah book club discussion airs January 17 and will feature Hamilton and Sigourney Weaver, star of the movie, scheduled to open January 21.

The three bestselling mass market tie-ins are Frank McCourt's Angela's Ashes, Stephen King's The Green Mile and John Irving's The Cider House Rules. Simon & Schuster reports that there are 5,410,000 copies in various paperback editions of McCourt's book. The first printing for the regular trade edition was 600,000 and the current total is 1,525,000. The trade movie tie-in had a 300,0000 first printing and is now up to 450,000, The mass market had a 1,180,000 first printing and is up to 3,435,000, Look for the author on the Today Show January 18 and on Rosie O'Donnell the next day.

Waiting for Grisham
Naturally, John Grisham's 10th megabestseller, The Testament, g s straight to the top of the charts after just a partial week at the stores. Total copies in print for the Dell/Island edition, after four trips to press, is 3,875,000. Almost no other new mass market bestseller can match those numbers. The same is true when a new hardcover Grisham appears. Fans only have to wait until February 1 for book #11, The Brethren. First printing is the usual for Grisham -- a whopping 2.8 million. For Testament, Doubleday had to go back for an additional 100,000 copies. Based on pre-pub orders, the book has ranked among the top 10 on Amazon.com for several weeks.

120+ for Krentz

Soft Focus may be Putnam's first bestseller with Jayne Ann Krentz, but the author has had more than 120 national bestsellers (written over the last 20 years) under several nom de plumes, including Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle. First printing for the latest is 200,000; total for the Krentz uvre is 23 million. On January 5, the author kicked off a month-long book tour to 17 cities, starting in her hometown, Seattle.
Back To Bestsellers
Search | Bestsellers | News | Features | Children's Books | Bookselling
Interview | Industry Update | International | Classifieds | Authors On the Highway
About PW | Subscribe
Copyright 2000. Publishers Weekly. All rights reserved.