As we have noted several times in this column, Nora Roberts has only herself to beat as the most prolific bestseller author. Her newest hardcover, Midnight Bayou, lands in the #1 spot, outselling the latest Anne Rice, Blood and Gold (see below). The queen of romance's sales are extraordinary, and the highest in her league (that means more than Danielle Steel in paperback units). Putnam has printed and shipped more than 500,000 copies of the new book. Roberts's career spans 22 years; during that time she has had 69 bestselling titles, 142 novels published in more than 25 languages and boasts more than 145 million copies of her books in print. Midnight is her 13th 2001 bestseller.

With reporting by Dick Donahue.