Behind the Bestsellers
Daisy Maryles -- 11/6/00
Celebrating Six Months | Strictly for the Birds
Armchair Travel Hit | Paper Windfalls
Celebrating Six MonthsAny stint on the bestseller charts is noteworthy, and long tenures especially so. Two titles on this week's trade paperback list are beginning their second six months and both are still in the top five spots. In the #3 place is Robert T. Kiyosaki's Rich Dad Poor Dad, published by Warner Books. Copies in print total 1.1 million and the author has kept the spotlight on his book by appearing on several nationally syndicated radio business programs. The Cash Flow Quadrant, published at the same time as Rich Dad, Poor Dad, has about 300,000 copies in print, and Rich Dad's Guide to Investing (released shortly thereafter) boasts 350,000. All this bodes well for Kiyosaki's January 2001 book, Rich Dad's Rich Kid, Smart Kid: Teach Your Children How to Invest.
In the #5 spot is The Four Agreements by Dan Miguel Ruiz. Publisher Amber-Allen reports 600,000 copies in print after 18 trips to press. The book was published back in October 1997 with a 6,500-copy first printing. The debut issue of O--The Oprah Magazine featured the book, and Oprah gave it lots of airtime on her show, mentioning that she had already bought more than 400 copies. The Four Agreements Companion Book just shipped, with 63,000 copies in print.
Strictly for the BirdsActually it's for birdwatchers--The Sibley Guide to Birds,written and illustrated by David Allen Sibley, has already begun staking its claim as the perfect holiday gift for birdlovers (see Book News, Oct. 16). The book is perched at #17 on our hardcover list. The book has been flying off the shelves ever since it landed in bookstores on October 3. According to Knopf, the first printing was 125,000, but by the time it ordered a second printing of 25,000, accounts were already
clamoring for more; a third printing of 50,000 is scheduled to arrive in time for Christmas. The
buzz for the book started back in May, when Sibley guided a group of journalists on a bird watching expedition in New York's Central Park. The outing resulted in a New Yorker "Talk of the Town" piece, which then inspired a full-page story in the New York Times Science section.
Armchair Travel HitAdam Gopnik's Paris to the Moon may be the first sleeper bestseller of the season. The Random House title went on sale October 17, and it's already #1 on the San Francisco Chronicle list. There are 75,000 copies in print after four trips to press. Gopnik, his wife and infant left New York in 1985 to live in Paris; he chronicled their experience in the popular "Paris Journals" in the New Yorker.
Paper WindfallsMichael Crichton is the new leader on the mass market list with Timeline, in which modern science meets medieval mayhem. Ballantine reports more than two million copies in print after three trips to press. The hardcover, published last November 29, had a 21-week run on our weekly charts and has 1.5 million copies in print. The author is doing a national TV satellite tour and will appear later this month on NBC's Today.
Two movie tie-ins are enjoying strong sales. Catherine Ryan Hyde's Pay It Forward (it received excellent reviews when it debuted in hardcover about a year ago) has 400,000 copies in print in the Pocket Books edition. Steven Pressfield's The Legend of Bagger Vance, published by Avon, has 386,000 copies in print. The Dreamworks motion picture based on it opened nationwide this past weekend. The hardcover was published by Morrow in 1995; it has sold more than 80,000 copies.
Lauren Belfer's debut novel City of Light enjoyed critical success and was a bookseller favorite when it was published as a Dial Press hardcover in spring 1999. Dell has just released the book in mass market, with a first printing of 250,000. It's benefiting from the earlier hardcover buzz--City of Light is the #1 pick on the Nov./Dec. Book Sense 76 list, making it the first mass market to top this list.