Seth Meyers’s Literary Salon

An unexpected venue has begun featuring novelists. The Wall Street Journal writes that Seth Meyers has created a “Late Night Literary Salon” on his TV show that boosts book sales.

When Hanya Yanagihara the author of the literary doorstopper, A Little Life, (RH/Doubleday, March) was invited to appear on the show, she assumed someone was playing a joke on her. Fortunately, she accepted. Meyers spoke to her for over six minutes, a long time for television and the interview caused sales to rise an impressive 54% according to BookScan. Meyers’s interview with Marlon James for A Brief History of Seven Killings (RH/Riverhead, 2014) resulted in a 31% sales bump. Those spikes are nothing, however, compared to the 500% jump Linda Fairstein saw after her appearance for Terminal City (Penguin/Dutton, June).

Other authors have not fared as well. Joshua Ferris’s To Rise Again at a Decent Hour (Hachette/Little, Brown, 2014) did not rise, but even so he told WSJ that “plugging a book is often a humbling enterprise… being on Seth’s show was the opposite. It was a gift.”

Meyers apparently reads very widely and picks the authors he wants to meet. As Marlon James says of his booking on the show, “I first just thought, well, my publicist is working overtime, which she is. But the idea that behind his booking was simply that he fell in love with these books just kind of blew my mind … it’s just not one of those things you expect.”

Meyers has featured authors who are no strangers to TV, such as Stephen King and George R.R. Martin as well and, according to the WSJ, Judy Blume and Junot Díaz are up soon.

A sample, below, in which Martin knights Meyers.

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