That might well describe any book that makes it to the top of the chart after just a week in the stores, but Hyperion has a lot riding on this week's lead fiction title, The Five People You Meet in Heaven. Author Mitch Albom is no stranger to this position; his last book (he has written seven), Tuesdays with Morrie, was a PW hardcover nonfiction bestseller for a total of 195 weeks, 21 of them in the #1 slot. Total copies in print in the U.S.: six million hardcover, 500,000 trade paper. The book was published in 41 countries and in 36 languages. But that was then, and this one is fiction. Hyperion reports 1,040,000 copies of The Five People after four trips to press, and to help sell that hefty printing, Albom will be on the road through early December, visiting 33 cities. But even before publication, Albom spent a good part of the summer visiting libraries, festivals, offices and synagogues, engaging people in conversations about the book and the value of life. PW gave the title a boxed, starred review, calling it a "contemporary American fable that will be cherished by a vast readership." At the kickoff event on the laydown day, September 23, in Detroit, Borders Books & Music sold more than 2,200 books and the money raised ($14,000) was donated to two local charities.
Volume 250 Issue 40 10/06/2003