Behind the Bestsellers
Daisy Maryles -- 1/15/01

Viva Vanzant | Mass Movements

Viva VanzantThis bestselling inspirational author, a lecturer with slots on both PW's weekly nonfiction hardcover bestseller list and our monthly hardcover religion list, could become a household name when her daytime TV talk show debuts this fall. We are talking, of course, about Iyanla Vanzant, whose Until Today: Daily Devotions for Spiritual Growth and Peace of Mind, published last
month, already has 409,000 copies in print after three trips to press. While Simon & Schuster scheduled Vanzant for several appearances just before the holidays, her nationwide tour began this month and continues through March. She is usually a big draw, so booksellers have arranged large off-site venues (500 to 1000 capacity) for the author's 90-minute lecture and q&a presentation. She is also hosting online discussion groups on her Web site. The TV show, to be called Iyanla, will be developed by Buena Vista Productions and produced by The View executive producers Barbara Walters and Bill Geddie. Response to Vanzant's initial Oprah appearance was so strong that Winfrey brought her on as a regular contributor.
How successful are Vanzant's earlier bestsellers? Very--consider these numbers for the four books she published in the last two years (S&S in hardcover, Fireside in paper): Yesterday I Cried has 645,000 copies in print after six trips to press; In the Meantime has 875,000 copies after 25 trips to press; One Day My Soul Opened Up has a combined hardcover and paperback total of 1,483,000 copies after 34 printings; and Don't Give It Away, a trade paper original, has 510,000 copies after five printings.

Mass MovementsThis week, seven new mass market books find spots on PW's weekly chart, six fiction and one nonfiction, Pocket's Empty Promises by Ann Rule, which has 750,000 copies after two printings. The top performer among the fiction half dozen is O Is for Outlaw by Sue Grafton, the 15th Kinsey Milhone mystery; Ballantine launched it with a 1.5 million-copy printing. Fans can look forward to #16 in June, when Putnam (Grafton's new publisher) releases P Is for Peril.

In the seventh spot is Yesterday by Fern Michaels. Her publisher, Zebra, declared January Fern Month--readers can expect a new book or paperback reprint from this bestselling author every year at this time. The first printing for Yesterday, close to 950,000 copies, is the highest ever for a Michaels mass market; the hardcover sold about 100,000. Jove also published the new Steve Martini mystery, The Attorney, featuring Paul Madriani, in January; it boasts 1.1 million copies in print after four trips to press.

Oprah's March 2000 book club pick was Back Roads by Tawni O'Dell, a hardcover first fiction with a pre-Oprah first printing of 27,000. Viking went on to print a total of 650,000 copies and the book had a 10-week run on the hardcover charts, the first in the #1 spot. Signet released the mass market with a printing of 775,000, but quickly went back to press twice, for a total of 850,000. Most of Oprah's picks are published or reprinted in trade paper, but Viking and New American Library are hoping to reach as wide an audience as possible with the mass market edition.

Bestselling author Michael Connelly introduced a new character, Cassie Blake, a high-stakes Las Vegas thief, in his last book, Void Moon; the mass market reprint has a first printing of almost 822,000. His next book, A Darkness More Than Night, will have a one-day laydown January 23. Darkness unites Harry Bosch (featured in The Black Ice and Angels Flight) with Terry McCaleb from Blood Work. Connelly has written a story about a case the two men worked on years before that still haunts them both, kind of like a prologue to the new book; it will be e-mailed exclusively to his Web site's mailing list on laydown date.

And in the #13 mass market spot is Follow the Stars Home by Luanne Rice. According to Bantam, the paperback has 680,700 copies in print. The author will soon embark on a 10-city tour for her new hardcover, Dream Country, which g s on sale January 30. Rice's next paperback original, Firefly Beach, g s on sale in June, followed by another hardcover, Summer Light, in July.