The Avalon Publishing group reported that sales for the first quarter of 2003 are up more than 30% over the same period in 2002.

Susan Reich, president and COO of Avalon, said sales increased close to 50% for its New York—based division, which includes Thunder's Mouth Press, Carroll & Graf, Marlowe & Co. and Seal Press. APG's West Coast—based Avalon Travel Publishing, which includes Moon, Foghorn, John Muir Publications, Rick Steves and Road Trip USA, had a first-quarter sales increase of 10% over the same period in 2002.

Reich credited the gains to four national bestsellers and "strong backlist sales" at APG. The four bestsellers are Dreaming War by Gore Vidal (Thunder's Mouth/Nation Books), 100,000 copies in print; The Woman Who Wouldn't Talk by Susan McDougal (Carroll & Graf), 50,000 copies in print; The Gangs of New York by Herbert Asbury (Thunder's Mouth), 250,000 copies in print; and The New Glucose Revolution by Jennie Brand-Miller and Thomas M.S. Wolever (Marlowe & Co.), with 200,000 copies in print.

Reich expects sales to continue to grow throughout the year, and noted the fall launch of the company's newest division, Shoemaker & Hoard. S&H's debut list will feature titles by Wendell Berry and Anne Lamott.