What Sells in January

Gift-giving seasons are the best for book sales and since Fall includes major gift-giving holidays, it’s the time for publishers to release their heavy-hitters. With all those big titles, however, it can be a tough time to get noticed.

Today’s Wall Street Journal explores something publishers have known for quite a while; January, when people are coming in to stores to redeem gift cards (or to exchange gifts they didn’t like) can also be a good time for book sales. And, with less competition from big-name authors, it’s an opportunity to make a splash with a new author.

The WSJ sees Beat the Reaper as a contender for THE debut novel of January (more about it here, including bibliographic info, from our earlier story). 

Below are the other titles mentioned in the article. Large libraries have all of them on order, in modest quantities.

Things I’ve been Silent About: Memories

Azar Nafisi

Her follow-up to reading-club favorite, Reading Lolita in Tehran

  • Hardcover: $27; 368 pages
  • Publisher: Random House (December 30, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1400063612
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400063611


Guilty: Liberal Victims and Their Assault on America

Ann Coulter

This has the largest print run of all the titles under discussion, 800,000 — a bit amazing since the WSJ also quotes sales figures from BookScan for her last title at just 141,000

  • Hardcover: $27.95; 320 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Forum (January 6, 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 030735346X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307353467


The Great Depression Ahead: How to Prosper in the Crash Following the Greatest Boom in History

Harry S. Dent

Quite a bracing title for the new year! This one takes advantage of another January tradition; New Year’s resolutions. “Getting finances in order” is likely at the top of most people’s lists.

  • Hardcover: $27; 400 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press (January 6, 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 1416588981
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416588986

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