“Sawtelle” an Official Hit

The Wall Street Journal declares The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, by David Wroblewski, a hit and credits Amazon with making it happen (“Amazon Shows Its Clout“). The book now has 90,000 copies in print, just a week after pub date, an outstanding reception for a first novel (the initial printing was 26,000).

The book just hit the USA Today list at #142 today and is at #11 on the Indie Fiction Bestseller list, showing particular strength on the MidWest and Mountains and Plains lists (the book is set in Wisconsin, where the author grew up; he now lives in Colorado).

But Sawtelle has had so many things going for it that I question singling out Amazon’s efforts. As we’ve pointed out, it had stellar reviews (USA Today adds to them in the current issue), and is the #1 pick by independent booksellers for the month of July. And, Amazon isn’t the only online seller that’s had success with the title; it’s been in the top 50 on the B&N since pub date, rising as high as #8, also its highest position on Amazon (curiously, today, it’s at #57 on B&N and #15 on Amazon).

As the WSJ points out, Amazon has an exclusive essay by Wroblewski on their site as well as a longish blurb by Stephen King who gives it the ultimate praise (“I will be re-reading this one”). If you’re not yet a believer, they’re worth reading.

Unfortunately, all but one of the 15 libraries I checked show the book still on order and in modest quantities, with holds piling up. WSJ says that the publisher is increasing promotion. They’ve doubled the number of cities on Wroblewski’s tour and will be advertising it heavily.

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle David Wroblewski

  • Hardcover: $25.95
  • Publisher: Ecco (June 10, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0061374229
  • ISBN-13: 9780061374227
  • Audio CD: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Recorded Books
  • ISBN-13: 9781436149587
  • Large Print Paperback: $25.95
  • Publisher: HarperLuxe; (August 19, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 0061691623
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061691621

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