Slow Publishing News Week?

TWO national newspaper stories came out this week about Americans who can’t wait for the third volume in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium series, Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, not due here until the end of May. They are buying the UK editions, which came out in October of this year.

The New York Times writes about some independent bookstores that have imported the British editions and are selling them for as much as $45.

Of course, this violates territorial rights agreements. Other booksellers quoted by the NYT, such as Powell’s in Portland, OR, say they plan to stick to the rules and wait for the American edition.

Ignoring territorial rights, the Wall Street Journal suggests Americans buy Hornet’s Nest through Amazon, UK, as well as four other “hot titles” (sorry, we don’t see these titles as being quite so heavily sought-after by Americans):

  • Anne Tyler, Noah’s Compass, US pub, Knopf, (January 5, 2010)
  • William Boyd, Ordinary Thunderstorms, US pub, Harper, (January 26, 2010)
  • John Banville, The Infinities, US pub, Knopf, (February 23, 2010)
  • Sebastian Faulks, A Week in December, US pub, Doubleday, (March 9, 2010)

Why is the Hornet’s Nest available in the UK so far ahead of the US edition? Both articles quote responses from the US publisher Knopf, but Sarah Weinman offers a more plausible theory on her mystery-focused blog, Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind.

One library we checked already has over 500 holds on the 46 copies they’ve ordered of the Knopf edition.

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest
Stieg Larsson
Retail Price: $26.95
Hardcover: 480 pages
Publisher: Knopf – (2010-05-25)
ISBN / EAN: 030726999X / 9780307269997

Simultaneous unabridged audio; Random House Audio; 9780739384190; $40.

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