Olympic gold medal soccer player Alex Morgan, currently playing for the Portland Thorns, scores with the first book in a planned middle grade series, The Kicks. Book one, Saving the Team (S&S Young Readers), debuts on the NYT Middle Grade Best Seller list at #7 during its in its first week on sale.
The second book in the series, Sabotage Season will be published in September. A third one is in the works.
This is the first time since the NYT began publishing separate ebook best seller lists in February of 2011 that a self-pubbed title has topped the combined list (Wait For You by J. Lynn and Hopeless by Colleen Hoover both hit #1 on the ebook only list, but didn’t break through on the combined list, where they appeared at #2. Both authors subsequently signed with traditional publishers. Fifty Shades of Grey did not appear on the NYT lists until after it was picked up by Random House).
A total of three self-published titles are on the current combined list of fifteen, two of them in the top ten, an evolving shift from the first lists, which had none.
Idaho author Van Dyken has published several historical romances with Astraea Press. She tells Forbes in an interview that Astraea was uncomfortable with The Bet because it falls into the “New Adult/Contemp” category and it “only does sweet romance,” so she decided to self-publish through Amazon’s CreateSpace.
While many of the author’s previous e-books are available via OverDrive, this one is not. It is also available in mass market paperback (ISBN: 978-1483918778), but it is not currently listed on wholesaler databases.
The eighth novel by British author Kate Atkinson, Life After Life, (Hachette/Little, Brown/Reagan Arthur; Hachette Audio; Hachette Large Print), debuts on this week’s NYT Hardcover Fiction Best Seller list at #3, the highest spot yet for the author. Her previous novel, Started Early, Took My Dog (2011) hit the extended list when it was published.
It has been reviewed widely in the U.S., including an early review by Janet Maslin in the daily New York Times, which states, “Life After Lifeis a big book that defies logic, chronology and even history in ways that underscore its author’s fully untethered imagination.” It is an IndieNext #1 pick for April and was much buzzed about by librarians on GalleyChat.
Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger, (Macmillan/Roaring Brook), the perfect title for spring, debuts at #9 even though it has been out for a year. EarlyWord Kids contributor Lisa Von Drasek included it in her annual list of “Best Books To Give Younger Kids You Don’t Know Very Well.” The book’s trailer shows off its clever cut-outs:
On this week’s USA Today best seller list, Sheryl Sandberg’s “sort of feminist” manifesto, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, (RH/Knopf; RH Audio; BOT) is #1 in its second week on the list, after debuting at #133 last week.
That may not be much of a surprise, given the amount of attention it has received. The surprise is that it’s one of the few hardcovers on the list. By contrast, the latest Alex Cross title by James Patterson is at #3, but in ebook. Of the top 50 USA Today bestsellers, 27 are ebooks, 18 paperbacks and just 8 hardcovers.
After a slow start, many libraries are showing heavy holds on all formats of Lean In.
Dr. Ben Carson has become the “New Conservative Folk Hero,” declares Atlantic magazine, since he confronted President Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast, a venue that isn’t known for making news (see below; as the Atlantic advises, “Things don’t get interesting for a while, so you might want to skip to about halfway through”).
The soon-to-retire head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital has even been called on to run for President in an editorial in the Wall Street Journal.
His latest book, America the Beautiful, published last year and now available in paperback (HarperCollins/Zondervan), has been in the top ten on Amazon for the last two weeks, rising as high as #1 and appears on the March 3 NYT Paperback Non-fiction Best Seller list at #12. Libraries are showing heavy holds.
“How long before Fifty Shades of Grey hits theaters?” asks a weary world.
Not before summer of 2014, says Universal chairman Adam Fogelson in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
Is he worried about the danger of missing the buzz?
He’s more concerned that rushing it into production would not be a good strategy for the “second or third film” in the series. They haven’t chosen a director yet and, no, they didn’t ask Angelina Jolie to fill that chair (she’s heading up Unbroken, based on the book by Laura Hillenbrand).
He also notes, in an understatement, that “there are totally legitimate questions about what this book is as a movie.”
In terms of popularity, it’s not another Gone Girl, (RH/Crown), which entered the same list at #7 during its first week on sale, topped only by the Fifty Shades of Grey and the Hunger Games trilogies. That same week, it hit the NYT list at #1.
Even if it doesn’t live up to the comparison to Gone Girl (and what can?), it’s still doing very well and is likely to hit the NYT list in the top ten.
People magazine catches up with it in the latest issue (March 4th), giving it 3 of 4 stars, but the review reads more like a 5; “Koch’s skewering of elitism and self-serving morality is a wickedly delicious feast.” The many other reviews have also been positive. The only holdout has been Janet Maslin in the NYT, who dismissed it as “an extended stunt.”
Laura Schroff’s book about how her simple act of kindness towards an 11-year-old homeless boy changed not only his life, but her own, An Invisible Thread (S&S/Howard Books; Tantor Audio; Thorndike Large Print), came out in 2011. The paperback edition hit the lower rungs of the NYT extended list in September.
The author appeared on the Today Show just before Christmas, bringing Kathie Lee and Hoda to tears and sending the book to #15 on the Jan. 15 NYT Paperback Nonfiction list.
Day has published several other books in various genres. One of her historicals, Seven Years to Sin (Kensington; Brilliance Audio) also debuts on this list, at #18, after being re-released with a new cover. Day has said that Bared to You, “in some ways .. feels like an extension of Seven Years to Sin … even though they’re set 200 years apart.”
The book is often compared to The Corrections and author Jonathan Franzen himself gave it a rare blurb, “The Middlesteins had me from its very first pages, but it wasn’t until is final pages that I fully appreciated the range of Attenberg’s sympathy and the artistry of her storytelling.”
The two books may also compare in best seller history. The Corrections made its debut on the USA Today list in a similarly low position, at #150, but rose to #1 after five weeks.
Consumer reviews, while strong, have not been as widespread as would be expected from the advance attention (the NYT relegated it to a mention in their “Newly Released Books” column). In the Washington Post, Ron Charles says, “The nimble structure of this novel is just one of the elements that keep it engaging.”
The Chicago Tribune review was also very strong, saying that it “stun[s] with its blunt, unsparing and unflinching depictions of family dysfunction among the Jewish-American middle class in Chicago and its suburbs.”
Holds are heavy in libraries where ordering was light.
This is especially astonishing to me because The Unbecoming [of Mara Dyer, S&S YR, 2011] was not a “big” book. There was no major deal. No fortune to fuel the hype machine … A book that many people, if not most, still don’t know how to categorize. I still have trouble describing what it’s about. The odds of a book hitting the New York Times list is low to start, but the odds of books like mine hitting it? Even slimmer.
The LA Times called the first book, an “unsettling paranormal romance [in which] a young girl survives a trauma but discovers she may be going insane.”
All four of Kate Morton’s books have appeared on the USA Today best seller list, but the latest one,The Secret Keeper, (S&S/Atria; Brilliance Audio; Center Point Large Print), hits a new high for the author, debuting at #18 this week.
Given 3.5 of 4 stars in last week’s People, it was praised as an ”intriguing mystery, shifting between past and present and among fully realized characters harboring deep secrets.” Booklist said it “will appeal to fans of Daphne du Maurier, Susanna Kearsley, and Audrey Niffenegger with its immensely relatable characters, passion, mystery, and twist ending.”