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Nov 25, 2010

Black Friday and Cyber Thanksgiving Deals and How to Buy Presents for Men

The explanation I had always heard for the term "Black Friday" that this was the time of the year that retailers were finally "in the black" (making a profit) rather than "in the red" (still paying off their investments and overhead).

Let's just think about that for a moment. From January to November, that's eleven months spent in the red. Even if your fiscal year starts in March or June (as some do), that's still quite a few months in the red.

I don't know if this is accurate or not. But it does make me feel a little better about still being "in the red" myself vis-a-vis my book. My fiscal year, so to speak, only started at the end of October. If you'd like a good Thanksgiving read, or something to enjoy while waiting in line with your kindle on Black Friday, you can click on my anthology Conmergence: An Anthology of Speculative Fiction or one of the other great books on the side of my page. I'm still trying to reach my own personal Black Friday moment. :)

Now let's talk about something completely different, how to buy presents for men.

Every year I put a lot of thought into buying a present for my husband and every year it is a complete and utter bust. This year will be no different. The problem is that the only thing he wants are geeky tech toys, and he only wants them if they are on sale for crazy low prices, and he is the only one able to (a) know what version/brand/ram/whatever is the EXACT AND ONLY one that he wants, and (b) what price is low enough to be a GOOD price. If I buy him the wrong thing and/or at the wrong price, it just makes him miserable, and this is not the purpose of a present.

He doesn't make it easy for me either. For instance, this year, he wanted something I could have managed to order: a Nook. Yes, the one electronic gadget I know something about, an e-reader. So what does he do? He bought for himself and it arrived yesterday.

Then he mentioned, casually, that he wanted Apple TV. And yes, you guessed it, told me he had ordered it already. Um, thanks.

Now, I've tried other types of things. Tools. Clothes. A candy-pooping moose. Once I bought him tickets to Wicked. When he objected that we couldn't afford that, especially for THOSE seats, I proudly showed him the receipt showing the wonderful deal I'd found. He was happy that I'd started to think frugally. It seemed like this gift would be a winner.

We forgot to go.

Knowing we had an opportunity, and spent the money, and blew it, upsets me to this day, more so than if I hadn't ever bought the tickets. (The human mind is strange that way.) So I will never do that again.

This is getting frustrating to me. If I buy him tools, he doesn't use them, if I buy him clothes, he doesn't wear them, if books, he doesn't read them. He didn't even eat the candy from the pooping moose.

So this year, I bought him... sheets. That's sad, I know. "Hey, honey, I love you! Here's sheets!"


I found a good deal on Amazon (75% off). I know I can post it here, because my husband does not read my blog. (I am trusting the discretion of those of you in my family who do read the blog not to mention it to him.

My reasoning is this: (a) we need new sheets, and (b) I know he will use the sheets because I am the one who makes the bed.

Does anyone else have this problem? What gifts do you get for the person, not who has everything, but is nonetheless very, very hard to buy presents for?

Nov 23, 2010

Pathfinder - Booktrailer of the Day

Orson Scott Card. What can I say? The name is pretty much the sell here, isn't it? So the trailer is smooth and professional, and though it has motion, mostly stays out of the way of just letting you know the author of Ender's Game has a new book out.

Nov 16, 2010

How Your Book Is Like a Banana

I've been reading Dean Wesley Smith's blog about publishing, and the Velocity of Sales vs The Long Tail. Traditionally, your book was sold as though it were a banana:

Now, understand, in a grocery store, produce is put out to be sold quickly and then is replaced before it spoils.

Over the last twenty plus years publishers and bookstores put out books and then yanked them quickly as if a book would spoil in a week or two. They treated books exactly the same as produce. And guess what, just as with produce in a grocery story, if a book didn’t sell, it was tossed away, destroyed.

This practice has become so bad that often a book will be deemed out of print within a month of the release date because it didn’t have the orders the sales force was expecting. Or it didn’t have the number of projected sales in the first week or so. Of course, it won’t officially go out of print until all the warehouse stock is gone, but it will have a do-not-reprint order on the book from almost week one.

But the one thing modern publishers and big bookstore have forgotten:

Books don’t spoil.

Treating books like bananas has resulted in a lot of lost book sales, canceled series and even ruined authorial careers. (It also explains why I couldn't find all of the books of his wife's Fey series.)

He concludes:

So what’s happening outside of traditional publishing?

Basically, a huge wave is happening. Many, many authors are figuring this new model out. Many, many small publishers are figuring this out, publishers who can turn their ships quickly. Many small publishers are springing into life to fill this void with a new business model and help writers.

...And as an old time writer, I haven’t been this excited in thirty years about writing new stuff. It’s a great time to be a writer. Finally our work will no longer be treated as produce and any reader who wants to find a story will be able to find it. Even twenty or thirty years from now.

On a related note, Ian Fleming's James Bond E-Books will bypass the print publisher. It's been predicted for a while now that Big Name Authors would figure out they could do better going straight to the source.

"Penguin accepted long ago that they didn't have the digital rights. Of course they wanted to do it, but why would we? With a brand like ours, people are looking for the books anyway, so the publicity and marketing will happen. It also gives us greater clarity of sales, which books are selling and where. We are very lucky to have such a big brand."


Free Writing Book

Hey, you can get the ebook Writing For Dummies for free on Amazon.

Nov 15, 2010

Harbinger of the Storm - Book Trailer of the Day

Nov 8, 2010

Does NaNoWriMo Create Too Many Bad Books? Or, a Manifesto on the New Social Literacy

Does NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) encourage a glut of crappy books that would be better off unwritten?

Laura Miller wrote a now infamous article at Salon:

Nothing about NaNoWriMo suggests that it's likely to produce more novels I'd want to read. (That said, it has generated one hit, and a big one: "Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen, who apparently took the part about revision to heart.) The last thing the world needs is more bad books. But even if every one of these 30-day novelists prudently slipped his or her manuscript into a drawer, all the time, energy and resources that go into the enterprise strike me as misplaced.

Here's why: NaNoWriMo is an event geared entirely toward writers, which means it's largely unnecessary. When I recently stumbled across a list of promotional ideas for bookstores seeking to jump on the bandwagon, true dismay set in. "Write Your Novel Here" was the suggested motto for an in-store NaNoWriMo event. It was yet another depressing sign that the cultural spaces once dedicated to the selfless art of reading are being taken over by the narcissistic commerce of writing.

...Frankly, there are already more than enough novels out there -- more than those of us who still read novels could ever get around to poking our noses into, even when it's our job to do so. This is not to say that I don't hope that more novels will be written, particularly by the two dozen-odd authors whose new books I invariably snatch up with a suppressed squeal of excitement. (Actually, there are more of those novels than I'll ever be able to read, as well.) Furthermore, I know that there are still undiscovered or unpublished authors out there whose work I will love if I ever manage to find it. But I'm confident those novels would still get written even if NaNoWriMo should vanish from the earth.

Yet while there's no shortage of good novels out there, there is a shortage of readers for these books. Even authors who achieve what probably seems like Nirvana to the average NaNoWriMo participant -- publication by a major house -- will, for the most part, soon learn this dispiriting truth: Hardly anyone will read their books and next to no one will buy them.

So I'm not worried about all the books that won't get written if a hundred thousand people with a nagging but unfulfilled ambition to Be a Writer lack the necessary motivation to get the job done. I see no reason to cheer them on.

I love her article because it's like those 19th Century sermons justifying slavery. It's so full of wrong-headed nonsense that it's downright inspiring.

The first question that comes to mind is, even if NaNoWriMo filled the world with books, so what? As Nerdshares asked,

Is it sad that Twilight exists? I don’t know. I don’t like it. I think it’s legitimately an awful piece of work, but I also don’t know that I’d feel comfortable telling Stephenie Meyer to stick her manuscripts in a drawer because it’s no good so why try? (I think because this, which Laura Miller doesn’t seem to understand, is what we would call being an asshole.)

And Carolyn Kellogg provided an excellent point by point rejoinder.

But I think Pop Matters addressed the condescension best.

Miller seems to suggest that it’s wrong to encourage the idea that everybody can and should write (particularly, she argues, since writers will insist on doing it anyway), but by that logic you may as well not encourage everyone to read either. That was received wisdom of much of Miller’s counterparts in the pundit class of the 18th century, when it was widely believed that dimwit readers and their vulgar tastes were leading to the destruction of the world of letters.

So why do we keep hearing that there are too many books? If it's not NaNo that's being derided, it's some other phenomena, like the Kindle. Dana Gioia and Jonathan Franzen are fretting that an ereader like the Kindle, "will not make a significant positive impact, however well it does business-wise.” Franzen thinks you can read travel books on the Kindle, but not Kafka. (Which is weird, because I thought Kafka wrote travel books. Something about touring castles? Or maybe it was penal colonies? Anyway, I read Kafka while I was touring Europe, and it sure would have helped to have it on my Kindle. And in English.)

Or alternatively, it's self-publishing that is blamed for an anticipated tsunami of awful books. Oh my goodness, that was Laura Miller in Salon also. "Again, these developments are in many ways great for authors. Readers, however, may be in for a serious case of slush fatigue."

But Miller isn't the only one desperate to save readers from being overwhelmed by having too much to read. In a great article on a completely different subject (the lost art of rejection letters -- it's really interesting!) Bill Morris suddenly and inexplicably declares:

We need fewer books, and better ones; we need more readers, and smarter ones. And I believe the former would lead to the latter.

I couldn't disagree more.

An individual does not become a good writer by writing less, but by writing more, by writing and writing and writing. It's said that you have to write a million words of dreck before you can master the craft. If that's true of writers in the singular, why wouldn't it be true of writers in the plural? Why wouldn't it be true of a civilization?

Countries that win the Olympics year after year are countries that have the most athletes practicing those sports, not just at the Olympic level but across the board. Thousands and thousands of amateur athletes are needed if a country is to produce just a few gold-medalists.

The same is true of inventions. You don't just invent the airplane by favoring only one or two of the smartest inventors. You have as many inventors, smart and moronic and everything in between, striving to fly. They learn from each other and they compete with each other and they spur each other on. Soon you're flying.

If every person in the world wrote a book, that would be awesome, wouldn't it? I think it would. The very people who are the least likely to write a book are holding secret inside them some of the books I would most like to read. The African mother who would, if she could, leave a story for her child before she dies of AIDS and leaves the child an orphan. The Russian dude who could tell me what it's really like to go from working for the KGB to an independent mafia. And then there are all the imagined worlds which I can't even imagine because only someone else could. I wish I could read those books. Why don't Miller and Morris?

I think they fear more books because a couple of different issues are operating here.

(1) No one reader can read everything. People who have an obsessive-compulsive desire to read every book ever written (I really sympathize with this) can find it frustrating that the task is already IMPOSSIBLE but just keeps getting more so because darn authors keep writing more. Just look at the number of books selling more than 100,000 copies I listed in a previous post. Have you read all of those? Neither have I.

(2) If you are an author (as Miller, Morris, Franzen etc. are) then all those new books being written during NaNo, published through Smashwords and read on ereaders are COMPETITION. Of course authors don't want more competition. Even though Konrath claims it's not a competition. Readers are finite, with finite reading time. It's hard not to worry that with so many other good books out there, ours would get overlooked.

Notice that the real problem, then, is not that there might be too many BAD books out there. The problem is that there might be too many GOOD books out there. There are wonderful books you won't have time to read. That is heartbreaking, isn't? And someone else might have written a much, much better book than you. In fact, probably hundreds of authors have written better books than you.

And yet, there is one more important truth:

No one but you can write your book.

Unlike Miller, I think that would be a loss. Because unlike the naysayers, who think literate culture is on the brink of self-implosion, I think we are in the midst of a wonderful renaissance of literature. Historians centuries from now will look back on our era and marvel at the burst of creativity. They will point to the huge number of novels, both horrendous and gorgeous, the flurry of interest ordinary people, not even professional writers, are taking in learning how to write novels, the communities, like NaNoWriMo (but not limited to it) that have sprung up to make writing novels a social activity.

Let me repeat that... writing novels is a social activity. Look, that is astonishing. Hey, let's be friends: we'll all write 50,000 words expressing our deepest feelings in the form of a story and share it with one another. This is art; this is friendship; this is community; this is amazing. I love human beings for doing this.

We are not becoming an illiterate culture. We are becoming more imbricated with the written word than ever. Our daily social lives revolve around the written word more than ever before. No wonder more people than ever, not less, are reading.

Do let us share our novels with one another. Do let us buy the books our friends write, and read them, and write about them, and be inspired by them. Do let us create a community of the written word to communicate our soul aches and heart breaks and dream aims through the secret language of story -- both the oldest and now the newest way to share with one another.

Nov 7, 2010

Amazon Sells the Nook

Amazon sells the Nook -- one of the lead rivals for their own Kindle. For $223. New from Barnes & Noble, the Nook is $149. What is going on here? Is it a sneaky way for Amazon to suggest to casual searchers that the Nook is a lot more expensive than the Kindle? Or is it just because it's from a third party vendor? But why does a third party vendor thing they can sell the Nook for so much?


Nov 6, 2010

How Many Authors Sold How Many Books in 2009

Hardcover Fiction Sales, 2009

1. The Lost Symbol: A Novel. Dan Brown. Doubleday (5,543,643).
2. *The Associate: A Novel. John Grisham. Doubleday.
3. The Help. Kathryn Stockett. Putnam/Amy Einhorn (1,104,617).
4. I, Alex Cross. James Patterson. Little, Brown (1,040,976).
5. The Last Song. Nicholas Sparks. Grand Central (1,032,829).
6. *Ford County. John Grisham. Doubleday.
7. Finger Lickin' Fifteen. Janet Evanovich. St. Martin's (977,178).
8. The Host: A Novel. Stephenie Meyer. Little, Brown (912,165).
9. *Under the Dome. Stephen King. Scribner
10. Pirate Latitudes. Michael Crichton. Harper (855,638).
11. Scarpetta. Patricia Cornwell. Putnam (800,000).
12. U Is for Undertow. Sue Grafton. Putnam (706,154).
13. The Scarpetta Factor. Patricia Cornwell. Putnam (705,000).
14. Shadowland. Alyson Noel. St. Martin's (609,355).
15. The 8th Confession. James Patterson. Little, Brown (606,097).
16. Arctic Drift. Clive Cussler with Dirk Cussler. Putnam (588,247).
17. South of Broad: A Novel. Pat Conroy. Doubleday (565,156).
18. Run for Your Life. James Patterson. Little, Brown (557,356).
19.True Blue. David Baldacci. Grand Central. (555,296).
20. Swimsuit. James Patterson. Little, Brown (553,138).
21. *Pursuit of Honor: A Novel. Vince Flynn. Atria.
22. Alex Cross's Trial. James Patterson. Little, Brown (517,171).
23. Black Hills. Nora Roberts. Putnam (502,000).
24. Breathless: A Novel. Dean Koontz. Bantam (500,964).
25. Dead and Gone: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel. Charlaine Harris. Ace (500,135).
26. Southern Lights: A Novel. Danielle Steel. Delacorte (497,140).
27. First Family. David Baldacci. Grand Central 447,484).
28. The Gathering Storm: Book 12 of the Wheel of Time. Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson. Tor (437, 474).
29. The Wrecker. Clive Cussler. Putnam (387,309).
30. *Just Take My Heart. Mary Higgins Clark. S&S.
Nine Dragons. Michael Connelly. Little, Brown (356,490).
An Echo in the Bone: A Novel. Diana Gabaldon. Delacorte (347,081).
*Handle with Care: A Novel. Jodi Picoult. Atria.
One Day at a Time. Danielle Steel. Delacorte (344,079).
The Girl Who Played with Fire. Stieg Larsson. Knopf (336,534).
The Lacuna. Barbara Kingsolver. Harper (321,980).
Matters of the Heart. Danielle Steel. Delacorte (315,640).
Kindred in Death. J.D. Robb. Putnam (315,000).
*The Secret. Rhonda Byrne. Atria.
Promises in Death. J.D. Robb. Putnam (305,000).
The Defector. Daniel Silva. Putnam (298,343).
The Scarecrow. Michael Connelly. Little, Brown (288,998).
A Touch of Dead. Charlaine Harris. Ace (270,002).
*Half Broke Horses. Jeannette Walls. Scribner.
Bad Moon Rising. Sherrilyn Kenyon. St. Martin's (252,180).
Long Lost. Harlan Cooper. Harper (250,839).
Relentless: A Novel. Dean Koontz. Bantam (250,278).
Wicked Prey. John Sandford. Putnam (249,028).
*Best Friends Forever: A Novel. Jennifer Weiner. Atria.
Gone Tomorrow. Lee Child. Delacorte (245,639).
*Her Fearful Symmetry. Audrey Niffeneggar. Scribner.
Spartan Gold. Clive Cussler. Putnam (231,808).
Medusa. Clive Cussler. Putnam (229,784).
Corsair. Clive Cussler. Putnam (229,049).
Knock Out: An FBI Thriller. Catherine Coulter. Putnam (227,487).
Shanghai Girls: A Novel. Lisa See. Random (225,359).
The Doomsday Key. James Rollins. William Morrow (225,026).
Christmas Secret. Donna Van Liere. St. Martin's (216,773).
*The Christmas List. Richard Paul Evans. S&S.
Last Night in Twisted River: A Novel. John Irving. Random (214,712).
*Smash Cut. Sandra Brown. S&S.
Twenties Girl: A Novel. Sophie Kinsella. Dial (209,661).
Wishin' and Hopin'. Wally Lamb. Harper (207,260).
Deadlock. Iris Johansen. St. Martin's (206,836).
The Paris Vendetta: A Novel. Steve Berry. Ballantine (204,501).
Rough Country. John Sandford. Putnam (203,202).
The Perfect Christmas. Debbie Macomber. Harlequin (200,227).
Black Ops. W.E.B. Griffin. Putnam (198,586).
Altar of Eden. James Rollins. William Morrow (196,734).
Blood Game. Iris Johansen. St. Martin's (195,769).
Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Deception. Eric Van Lustbader. Grand Central (195,029).
The Strain. Guillermo Del Toro. William Morrow (191,627).
Deeper than Dead. Tami Hoag. Penguin (185,936).
True Colors. Kristin Hannah. St. Martin's (185,658).
*The White Queen. Philippa Gregory. Touchstone Fireside.
Paths of Glory. Jeffrey Archer. St. Martin's (183,418).
Evidence: An Alex Delaware Novel. Jonathan Kellerman. Ballantine (182,958).
Sizzle: A Novel. Julie Garwood. Ballantine (182,010).
Look Again. Lisa Scottoline. St. Martin's (180,175).
Summer on Blossom Street. Debbie Macomber. Harlequin (173,694).
Rainwater. Sandra Brown. S&S.
The Christmas Sweater. Glenn Beck. Threshold.
Heart and Soul. Maeve Binchy. Knopf (167,755).
Divine Misdemeanors: A Novel. Laurell K. Hamilton. Ballantine (166,102).
That Old Cape Magic. Richard Russo. Knopf (164,437).
Angel Time. Anne Rice. Knopf (153,520).
Skin Trade. Laurell K. Hamilton. Berkley (153,004).
Cemetery Dance. Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child. Grand Central. (148,804).
Dune Road. Jane Green. Viking (148,570).
*The Apostle: A Thriller. Brad Thor. Atria.
Fool. Christopher Moore. William Morrow (146,098).
Tea Time for the Traditionally Built. Alexander McCall Smith. Pantheon (144,439).
The Honor of Spies. W.E.B. Griffin. Putnam (141,050).
Storm Cycle. Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen. St. Martin's (140,817).
Heat Wave. Richard Castle. Hyperion (140,110).
Return to Sullivans Island. Christopher Moore. William Morrow. (139,020).
Ice: A Novel. Linda Howard. Ballantine (138,126).
Loitering with Intent. Stuart Woods. Putnam (136,381).
White Witch, Black Curse. Kim Harrison. Eos. (135,659).
Knit the Season: A Friday Night Knitting Club Novel. Kate Jacobs. Putnam (135,329).
True Detectives: A Novel. Jonathan Kellerman. Ballantine (132,403).
The Angel's Game: A Novel. Carlos Ruiz Zafón. Doubleday (131,509).
Sidney Sheldon's Mistress of the Game. Sidney Sheldon. William Morrow. (131,405).
Hothouse Orchid. Stuart Woods. Putnam (130,426).
*206 Bones. Kathy Reichs. Scribner.
No Less than Victory: A Novel of World War II. Jeff Shaara. Ballantine (125,221).
Lover Avenged: A Novel of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. J.R. Ward. NAL (125,126).
Blindman's Bluff. Faye Kellerman. William Morrow. (124,110).
Guardian of Lies. Steve Martini. William Morrow. (123,393).
Second Opinion. Michael Palmer. St. Martin's (123,166).
The Professional. Robert B. Parker. Putnam (122,593).
Dark Slayer. Christine Feehan. Berkley (121,082).
*Devil's Punchbowl. Greg Iles. Scribner.
The Neighbor. Lisa Gardner. Bantam (120,555).
The Year of the Flood: A Novel. Margaret Atwood. Doubleday (120,249).
Malice. Lisa Jackson. Kensington. (120,000)
The Book of Genesis Illustrated. R. Crumb. Norton (119,914).
Fried Up: Book One of the Dreamlight Trilogy. Jayne Ann Krentz. Putnam (118,775).
Don't Look Twice. Andrew Gross. William Morrow. (117,239).
Pygmy. Chuck Palahniuk. Doubleday (117,202).
The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane. Katherine Howe. Voice (116,217).
*Divine Soul Mind Body Healing and Transmission System Special Edition: The Divine Way to Heal You, Humanity, Mother Earth, and All Universes. Zhi Gang Sha. Atria.
Turn Coat: A Novel of the Dresden Files. Jim Butcher. Roc (115,111).
A Change in Altitude: A Novel. Anita Shreve. Little, Brown (113,518).
Fire and Ice. J.A. Jance. William Morrow. (112,453).
*Roadside Crosses. Jeffery Deaver. S&S.
*Nanny Returns: A Novel. Emma McLaughlin. Atria.
*Days of Gold: A Novel. Jude Deveraux. Atria.
Night and Day. Robert B. Parker. Putnam (110,678).
New York: The Novel. Edward Rutherford. Doubleday (110,022).
Mr. and Miss Anonymous. Fern Michaels. Kensington. (110,000)
Fatally Flaky. Diane Mott Davidson. William Morrow. (108,369).
First Lord's Fury. Jim Butcher. Ace (108,105).
Homer & Langley: A Novel. E.L. Doctorow. Random (105,265).
What I Did for Love. Susan Elizabeth Phillips. William Morrow. (105,199).
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. Dial (104,284).
Burn: A Novel. Linda Howard. Ballantine (102,258).
The Disciple. Stephen Coonts. St. Martin's (100,272).
Prayers for Sale. Sandra Dallas. St. Martin's (100,202).
To Try Men's Souls. Newt Gingrich and William R. Forstchen. St. Martin's/Dunne (100,099).

Mass Market


The Associate: A Novel. John Grisham. Rep. Dell (2,150,227).


Cross Country. James Patterson. Grand Central (1,275,888).
Sail. James Patterson. Grand Central (1,251,364).
Tribute. Nora Roberts. Rep. Jove. (1,250,361).
Fearless Fourteen. Janet Evanovich. Rep. St. Martin's (1,200,000).
The Quickie. James Patterson. Grand Central. (1,167,569).
Scarpetta. Patricia Cornwell. Rep. Berkley (1,130,248).
The Whole Truth. David Baldacci. Grand Central (1,109,543).
Divine Justice. David Baldacci. Grand Central (1,021,344).
Sooner or Later. Debbie Macomber. Avon (1,000,000).
Mrs. Miracle. Debbie Macomber. Avon (1,000,000).
Dark Summer. Iris Johansen. Rep. St. Martin's (1,000,000).


7th Heaven. James Patterson. Grand Central (994,030).
The Front. Patricia Cornwell. Rep. Berkley (915,192).
Sundays at Tiffany's. James Patterson. Grand Central (911,511).
Your Heart Belong to Me: A Novel. Dean Koontz. Rep. Bantam (887,394).
From Dead to Worse: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel. Charlaine Harris. Rep. Ace (877,000).
The Choice. Nicholas Sparks. Grand Central. (870,116).
The Grand Finale. Janet Evanovich. Harper (850,000).
TailSpin. Catherine Coulter. Rep. Jove (840,210).
*Where Are You Now?: A Novel. Mary Higgins Clark. Rep. Pocket.
Club Dead: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel. Charlaine Harris. Rep. Ace (802,469).
Plum Spooky. Janet Evanovich. Rep. St. Martin's (800,000).
The Last Oracle. James Rollins. Harper (800,000).
Deadlock. Iris Johansen. Rep. St. Martin's (780,000).


The Brass Verdict. Michael Connelly. Grand Central (768,417).
The Da Vinci Code. Dan Brown. Rep. Vintage/Anchor (759,982).
Dead to the World: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel. Charlaine Harris. Rep. Ace (750,388).
A Good Woman: A Novel. Danielle Steel. Rep. Dell (733,557).
The Lovely Bones (movie tie-in ed.). Alice Sebold. Little, Brown. (734,835).
Heat Lightning. John Sandford. Rep. Berkley (730,260).
Definitely Dead: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel. Charlaine Harris. Rep. Ace (730,013).
Silent Thunder. Iris and Roy Johansen. Rep. St. Martin's (725,000).
*Smoke Screen: A Novel. Sandra Brown. Rep. Pocket.
Dead as a Doornail: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel. Charlaine Harris. Rep. Ace (728,144).
*Angels & Demons. Dan Brown. Movie tie-in. Rep. Pocket.
Dead Until Dark: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel. Charlaine Harris. TV tie-in. Rep. Ace (700,516).
Phantom Prey. John Sandford. Rep. Berkley (700,191).
What Happens in London. Julia Quinn. Avon (700,000).
Honor Thyself. Danielle Steel. Rep. Dell (693,368).
Hold Tight. Harlan Coben. Rep. Signet (690,107).
Rogue. Danielle Steel. Rep. Dell (677,658).
92 Pacific Boulevard. Debbie Macomber. Mira (677,373).
*My Sister's Keeper: A Novel. Jodi Picoult. Movie tie-in. Rep. Pocket.
Fire and Ice: A Novel. Julie Garwood. Rep. Ballantine (655,836).
All Together Dead: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel. Charlaine Harris. Rep. Ace (655,046).
The Charlemagne Pursuit: A Novel. Steve Berry. Rep. Ballantine (651,373).
Chosen to Die. Fern Michaels. Kensington. (650,000)
Dear John. Nicholas Sparks. Grand Central. (645,978).
*Devil's Punchbowl: A Novel. Greg Iles. Rep. Pocket.
Promises in Death. J.D. Robb. Rep. Berkley (635,372).
Salvation in Death. J.D. Robb. Rep. Berkley (631,019).
While My Sister Sleeps. Barbara Delinsky. Rep. Vintage/Anchor (629,027).
The Untamed Bride. Stephanie Laurens. Avon (625,000).
Robert Ludlum's The Bourne Sanction. Eric Van Lustbader. Grand Central. (615,719).
Plague Ship. Clive Cussler. Rep. Berkley (615,222).
*Lavender Morning. Jude Deveraux. Rep. Pocket.
The Road. Cormac McCarthy. Rep. Vintage/Anchor (605,322).
Odd Hours. Dean Koontz. Rep. Bantam (601,757).
*Just After Sunset: Stories. Stephen King. Rep. Pocket.
Final Justice. Fern Michaels. Kensington. (600,000).
Lost Souls. Lisa Jackson. Kensington. (600,000)
Razor Sharp. Fern Michaels. Kensington. (600,000)
The Book of Lies. Brad Meltzer. Grand Central. (593,330).
Dean Koontz's Frankenstein: Dead & Alive: A Novel. Dean Koontz. Orig. Bantam (582,809).
*Dashing Through the Snow. Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark. Rep. Pocket.
Shutter Island. Dennis Lehane. Harper. (575,000).
Dream Warrior. Sherrilyn Kenyon. Orig. St. Martin's (575,000).
Arctic Drift. Clive Cussler. Rep. Berkley (570,448).
Under the Radar. Fern Michaels. Kensington. (570,000)
Say Goodbye. Lisa Gardner. Rep. Bantam (568,515).
Living Dead in Dallas: A Sookie Stackhouse Novel. Charlaine Harris. Rep. Ace (557,282).
Up Close and Personal. Fern Michaels. Kensington. (550,000)
Snow Angels. Fern Michaels at al. Kensington. (550,000)
True Detectives: A Novel. Jonathan Kellerman. Rep. Ballantine (547,097).
The Treasure: A Novel. Iris Johansen. Rep. Bantam (540,413).
The Mercedes Coffin. Faye Kellerman. Harper (525,000).
Born of Fire. Sherrilyn Kenyon. Orig. St. Martin's (525,000).
Married in Seattle. Debbie Macomber. Mira (520,291).
Shadow of Power. Steve Martini. Harper (520,000).
Right Next Door. Debbie Macomber. Mira (515,992).
Tempt Me at Twilight. Lisa Kleypas. Orig. St. Martin's (515,000).
Where the Heart Lies. Stephanie Laurens. Avon (515,000).
Charmed & Enchanted. Nora Roberts. Silhouette (511,177).
Damage Control. J.A. Jance. Harper (510,000).
Executive Privilege. Phillip Margolin. Harper (510,000).
The Law of Love. Nora Roberts. Silhouette (509,464).
Twenty Wishes. Debbie Macomber. Mira (507,438).
Bones: An Alex Delaware Novel. Jonathan Kellerman. Rep. Ballantine (505,216).
Mastered by Love. Stephanie Laurens. Avon (505,000).
Born of Night. Sherrilyn Kenyon. Orig. St. Martin's (505,000).
The MacKade Brothers: Devin and Shane. Nora Roberts. Silhouette (504,277).
Terminal Freeze. Lincoln Child. Rep. Vintage/Anchor (501,607).
Fireside. Susan Wiggs. Mira (501,392).
Loitering with Intent. Stuart Woods. Rep. Signet (500,138).
Hidden Currents. Christine Feehan. Orig. Jove (500,044).
Worth the Risk. Nora Roberts. Silhouette (500,040).
Wicked Game. Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush. Kensington. (500,000)
Temptation and Surrender. Stephanie Laurens. Avon (500,000).
Born of Ice. Sherrilyn Kenyon. Orig. St. Martin's (500,000).
The Dark Tide. Andrew Gross. Avon (500,000).

Trade Paperbacks


The Shack: Where Tragedy Confronts Eternity. William P. Young. Orig. Windblown (3,595,467).
*Glenn Beck's Common Sense: The Case Against an Out-of-Control Government, inspired by Thomas Paine. Glenn Beck. Rep. Threshold.
The Time Traveler's Wife. Audrey Niffenegger. Rep. HMH (1,456,771).
Push. Sapphire. Rep. Vintage/Anchor (1,269,650).
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. Rep. Dial (1,105,469).
Vision in White. Nora Roberts. Orig. Berkley (1,100,427).


Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace... One School at a Time. Greg Mortenson. Penguin (973,280).
Bed of Roses. Nora Roberts. Orig. Berkley (950,024).
Eat This, Not That! Supermarkets. David Zinczenko. Rodale (950,000).
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith. Quirk (794,333).
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Stieg Larsson. Rep. Vintage/Anchor (777,382).


Say You're One of Them. Uwem Akpan. Back Bay. (708,033).
Olive Kitteridge. Elizabeth Strout. Rep. Random (702,993).
The Blindside: Evolution of a Game. Michael Lewis. Movie tie-in. Norton (676,645).
What to Expect When You're Expecting. Heidi Murkoff. Revised. Workman (670,595).
The Lucky One. Nicholas Sparks. Rep. Grand Central (628,127).
The Five Love Languages, How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate. Gary Chapman. Reissue. Northfield (626,238).
The Road. Cormac McCarthy. Rep. Vintage/Anchor (614,879).
Sunday at Tiffany's. James Patterson. Rep. Grand Central (608,597).
Hungry Girl 200 Under 200: 200 Recipes Under 200 Calories. Lisa Lillien. Orig. St. Martin's (600,000).
7th Heaven. James Patterson. Rep. Grand Central (582,269).
Sarah's Key. Tatiana de Rosnay. Rep. St. Martin's (575,000).
*My Sister's Keeper (movie tie-in ed.). Jodi Picoult. Washington Square Press.
Love the One You're With. Emily Giffin. Rep. St. Martin's (500,000).


My Life in France. Julia Child with Alex Prud'homme. Rep. Vintage/Anchor (497,731).
*America's Most Wanted Recipes. Ron Douglas. Atria.
Blink. Malcolm Gladwell. Back Bay. (476,532).
Firefly Lane. Kristin Hannah. Rep. St. Martin's (475,000).
Julie & Julia (movie tie-in ed.). Julie Powell. Back Bay. (472,790).
Eat This, Not That! 2010. David Zinczenko. Rodale (450,000).
The Alchemist. Paulo Coehlo. HarperOne (450,000+).
The Reader. Bernhard Schlink. Rep. Vintage/Anchor (449,947).
The Lovely Bones (movie tie-in ed.). Alice Sebold. Back Bay (437,397).
The Tipping Point. Malcolm Gladwell. Back Bay. (434,339).
*Handle with Care. Jodi Picoult. Washington Square Press.
The Lovely Bones. Alice Sebold. Back Bay (400,523).
I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell. Tucker Max. Kensington. (400,000).
When You Are Engulfed in Flames. David Sedaris. Back Bay. (394,613).
Cook This, Not That. David Zinczenko. Rodale (385,000).
Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia. Elizabeth Gilbert. Penguin (365,831).
Of Mice and Men. John Steinbeck. Penguin (365,502).
Unaccustomed Earth. Jhumpa Lahiri. Rep. Vintage/Anchor (362,055).
*The Glass Castle: A Memoir. Jeannette Walls. Rep. Scribner.
Eat This, Not That Restaurants. David Zinczenko. Rodale (355,000).
Run for Your Life. James Patterson. Rep. Grand Central (347,074).
Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance. Barack Obama. Rep. Crown (338,672).
Hello, Cupcake!: Irresistibly Playful Creations Anyone Can Make. Karen Tack and Alan Richardson. Orig. HMH (334,074).
City of Thieves. David Benioff. Rep. Plume (333,675).
*My Sister's Keeper. Jodi Picoult. Washington Square Press.
What to Expect the First Year. Heidi Murkoff. Revised. Workman (326,615).
More Diners, More Drive-ins & Dives. Guy Fieri. Morrow Cookbooks. (325,790).
The Elegance of the Hedgehog. Muriel Barbery, trans. by Alison Anderson. Europa (315,665).
Dear John. Nicholas Sparks. Media tie-in. Rep. Grand Central (312,719).
Testimony. Anita Shreve. Back Bay (308,019).
Same Kind of Different as Me: A Modern-day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together. Ron Hall and Denver Moore, with Lynn Vincent. Nelson (304,559).


Into the Wild. Jon Krakauer. Rep. Vintage/Anchor (299,147).
Rachael Ray's Book of Ten: More Than 300 Recipes to Cook Every Day. Rachael Ray. Orig. Crown (293,985).
A Summer Affair. Anita Shreve. Back Bay. (291,920).
The House on Mango Street. Sandra Cisneros. Orig. Vintage/Anchor (284,025).
Martha Stewart's Cupcakes: 175 Inspired Ideas for Everyone's Favorite Treat. Martha Stewart Living Magazine. Orig. Crown (281,504).
Biggest Loser Family Cookbook. Devin Alexander and Melissa Roberson. Rodale (280,000).
The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection for the Living Dead. Max Brooks. Orig. Crown (277,357)
My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands. Chelsea Handler. Bloomsbury (275,000).
The Kite Runner. Khaled Hosseini. Rep. Riverhead (272,273).
In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto. Michael Pollan. Penguin (265,003).
Biggest Loser 30 Day Jumpstart. Cheryl Forberg, Melissa Roberson, and Lisa Wheeler. Rodale (265,000).
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment. Eckhart Tolle. Rep. New World Library (262,101).
The Secret. Beverly Lewis. Bethany House (260,661).
Diners, Drive-in & Dives. Guy Fieri. Morrow Cookbooks. (259,955).
The Piano Teacher: A Novel. Janice Y.K. Lee. Penguin (258,779).
The Beach House. Jane Green. Rep. Plume (257,427).
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. Junot Díaz. Rep. Riverhead (254,742).
American Wife: A Novel. Curtis Sittenfeld. Rep. Random (252,697).
The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. Michael Pollan. Penguin (252,185).
The Weight of Silence. Heather Gudenkauf. Harlequin (251, 221).
A Thousand Splendid Suns. Khaled Hosseini. Rep. Riverhead (250,086).
Revolutionary Road. Richard Yates. Rep. Vintage/Anchor (251,338).
Our Choice. Al Gore. Rodale (250,000).
Flat Belly Diet Pocket Guide. Liz Vaccariello. Rodale (250,000).


*An Inconvenient Book: Real World Solutions to the World's Biggest Problems. Glenn Beck. Rep. Threshold.
Audition. Barbara Walters. Rep. Vintage/Anchor (239,660).
Things Fall Apart. Chinua Achebe. Rep. Vintage/Anchor (238,527).
The Middle Place. Kelly Corrigan. Rep. Voice (237,662).
The Gate House. Nelson DeMille. Rep. Grand Central (237,052).
This Side of Heaven: A Novel. Karen Kingsbury. Orig. Center Street (235,938).
The Missing. Beverly Lewis. Bethany House (234,865).
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. Alexander McCall Smith. Rep. Vintage/Anchor (231,719).
Cook Yourself Thin: Skinny Meals You Can Make in Minutes. Lifetime Television. Orig. Voice (228,574).
Chances. Nora Roberts. Harlequin (222,575).
Knit Two. Kate Jacobs. Rep. Berkley (220,069).
In the Woods. Tana French. Penguin (219,138).
The Secret Life of Bees. Sue Monk Kidd. Penguin (210,768).
Water for Elephants. Sara Gruen. Algonquin (203,000).
The Shadow of the Wind. Carlos Ruiz Zafón. Penguin (202,856).
Likeness: A Novel. Tana French. Penguin (202,762).
*Naturally Thin: Unleash Your SkinnyGirl and Free Yourself from a Lifetime of Dieting. Bethenny Frankel. Touchstone Fireside.
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War. Max Brooks. Rep. Crown (199,435).
A Raisin in the Sun. Lorraine Hansberry. Rep. Vintage/Anchor (197,057).
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. Jamie Ford. Rep. Ballantine (195,241).
Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of theF.B.I. Bryan Burrough. Penguin (191,937).
Making the Cut: The 30-Day Diet and Fitness Plan for the Strongest, Sexiest You. Jillian Michaels. Rep. Crown (190,764).
*Certain Girls. Jennifer Weiner. Washington Square Press.
Midnight Sons, Vol. 1. Debbie Macmober. Harlequin (186,893).
Netherland. Joseph O'Neill. Vintage/Anchor. (185,479)
People of the Book: A Novel. Geraldine Brooks. Penguin (184,301).
The Inaugural Address, 2009: Together with Abraham Lincoln's First and Second Inaugural Addresses and the Gettysburg Address and Ralph Waldo Emerson's Self-Reliance. Barack Obama. Penguin (180,862).
The Friday Night Knitting Club. Kate Jacobs. Rep. Berkley (180,328).
Wolf Hall: A Novel. Hilary Mantel. Holt (180,000).
*Nineteen Minutes. Jodi Picoult. Washington Square Press.
Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind. Joyce Meyer. Orig. Faith Words (178,899).
Comfort Food. Kate Jacobs. Rep. Berkley (175,159).
Flat Belly Diet. Liz Vaccariello. Rodale (175,000).
American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House. Jon Meachum. Rep. Random (172,043).
I Am America (and So Can You!). Stephen Colbert. Rep. Grand Central (170,819).
The Senator's Wife. Sue Miller. Vintage/Anchor (170,607).
Biggest Loser Simple Swaps. Cheryl Forberg and Melissa Roberson. Rodale (170,000).
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Mark Haddon. Vintage/Anchor (169,587).
The Devil in the White City. Erik Larson. Vintage/Anchor (167,549).
A Mercy. Toni Morrison. Vintage/Anchor (166,349).
*Are You There Vodka, It's Me, Chelsea. Chelsea Handler. Rep. Simon Spotlight.
The Miracle Ball Method. Elaine Petrone. Orig. Workman (165,956).
Hungry Girl: Recipes and Survival Strategies for Guilt-Free Eating in the Real World. Lisa Lillien. Orig. St. Martin's (165,000).
*The White Tiger: A Novel. Aravind Adiga. Rep. Free Press.
Loving Frank: A Novel. Nancy Horan. Rep. Ballantine (162,460).
Hot, Flat, and Crowded 2.0: Why We Need a Green Revolution--and How It Can Renew America. Thomas L. Friedman. Reissue. Picador (160,000).
South Beach Diet Supercharged. Arthur Agatston. Rep. St. Martin's (160,000).
The Cake Mix Doctor Returns! Anne Byrn. Orig. Workman (159,629).
Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5. Steven P. Shelov and Tanya Remer Altmann. Rep. Bantam (158,080).
*Chasing Harry Winston: A Novel. Lauren Weisberger. Rep. Pocket.
The 19th Wife: A Novel. David Ebershoff. Rep. Random (151,212).
The Scoop. Fern Michaels. Kensington. (150,000)
Girls in Trucks. Katie Crouch. Back Bay (149,883).
Barefoot. Elin Hilderbrand. Back Bay (146,892).
Atlas Shrugged. Ayn Rand. Rep. Plume (148,695).
The Miracle at Speedy Motors. Alexander McCall Smith. Vintage/Anchor (148,032).
My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist's Personal Journey. Jill Bolte Taylor. Rep. Plume (146,224).
Fireproof. Eric Wilson, Alex Kendrick, Stephen Kendrick. Thomas Nelson (146,106).
Lone Survivor. Marcus Luttrell. Back Bay (145,257).
The Other Queen. Philippa Gregory. Touchstone Fireside.
Rich Dad, Poor Dad: What the Rich Teach Their Kids About Money--That the Poor and the Middle Class Do Not! Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter. Orig. Grand Central (142,621).
The Memory Keeper's Daughter. Kim Edwards. Penguin (141,490).
The Soloist: A Lost Dream. An Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music. Steve Lopez. Movie tie-in. Rep. Berkley (140,156).
Home: A Novel. Marilynne Robinson. Rep. Picador (140,000).
Food Rules: An Eater's Manual. Michael Pollan (138,770).
Up in the Air. Walter Kirn. Vintage/Anchor (137,062).
Me Talk Pretty One Day. David Sedaris. Back Bay (136,012).
The Stranger. Albert Camus. Vintage/Anchor (135,434).
*Become a Better You: 7 Keys to Improving Your Life Every Day. Joel Osteen. Rep. Free Press.
The Monster of Florence. Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi. Rep. Grand Central (134,690).
The Five People You Meet in Heaven. Mitch Albom. Rep. Hyperion (132,154).
The Reef. Nora Roberts. Reissue. Berkley (130,225).
Wolf at the Table: A Memoir of My Father. Augusten Burroughs. Rep. Picador (130,000).
A Lesson Before Dying. Ernest J. Gaines. Vintage/Anchor (129,716).
Western Skies. Nora Roberts. Harlequin (128,973).
A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future. Daniel H. Pink. Rep. Riverhead (128,397).
Forever. Nora Roberts. Harlequin (127,734).
*Still Alice. Lisa Genova. Orig. Pocket.
*The Skinnygirl Dish: Easy Recipes for Your Naturally Thin Life. Bethenny Frankel. Touchstone Fireside.
Off Season. Anne Rivers Siddons. Rep. Grand Central (124,508).
The Pearl. John Steinbeck. Penguin (123,757).
Let the Great World Spin: A Novel. Colum McCann. Rep. Random (122,757).
What to Expect: The Toddler Years. Heidi Murkoff. Revised. Workman (122,248).
One Fifth Avenue. Candace Bushnell. Rep. Voice (121,443).
*The Bro Code. Barney Stinson. Touchstone Fireside.
*Stori Telling. Tori Spelling. Rep. Simon Spotlight.
*The Catcher in the Rye. J.D. Salinger. Back Bay.
Smart Guide to the Bible. Larry Richards. Thomas Nelson (120,210).
Fix-It and Forget It Cookbook: Feasting with Your Slow Cooker. Dawn J. Ranck and Phyllis Pellman Good. Orig. Good Books (118,423).
Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul. John Eldridge and Stasi Eldridge. Thomas Nelson (117,758).
Midnight Sons, Vol. 2. Debbie Macmober. Harlequin (116,778).
Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul. John Eldridge. Thomas Nelson (115,450).
The Wednesday Letters. Jason F. Wright. Rep. Berkley (115,129).
Sleeping Arrangements. Madeleine Wickham. Rep. St. Martin's (115,000).
Nightlight. The Harvard Lampoon. Vintage/Anchor (114,343).
Against Medical Advice. James Patterson. Rep. Grand Central (114,303).
So You Don't Want to Go to Church Anymore: An Unexpected Journey. Wayne Jacobsen and Dave Coleman. Orig. Windblown Media (112,797).
*Vanishing Acts. Jodi Picoult. Washington Square Press.
The Principles, Practices & Priorities of a Winning Life. Tony Dungy with Nathan Whitaker. Rep. Tyndale (112,562).
Julie & Julia. Julie Powell. Back Bay (111,108).
Where the Heart Is. Nora Roberts. Harlequin (110,546).
World Without End. Ken Follett. Rep. NAL (110,328).
The Private Patient. P.D. James. Vintage/Anchor (110,041).
Secrets of a Shoe Addict. Beth Harbison. Rep. St. Martin's (110,000).
The Reason for God. Timothy Keller. Rep. Riverhead (108,741).
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. David Allen. Penguin (107,092).
How Not to Look Old: Fast and Effortless Ways to Look 10 Years Younger, 10 Pounds Lighter, 10 Times Better. Charla Krupp. Rep. Grand Central (106,530).
The Post-American World. Fareed Zakaria. Rep. Norton (106,141).
The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story. Diane Ackerman. Rep. Norton (106,141).
Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness. Richard H. Thaler. Penguin (105,857).
Stuff White People Like: A Definitive Guide to the Unique Taste of Millions. Christian Lander. Orig. Random (105,628).
Irish Born. Nora Roberts. Orig. Berkley (105,328).
Look Me in the Eye: My Life with Asperger's. John Elder Robinson. Rep. Crown (104,988).
Physics of the Impossible. Michio Kaku. Vintage/Anchor (104,797).
God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything. Christopher Hitchens. Rep. Grand Central (104,446).
Cesar's Way: The Natural, Everyday Guide to Understanding and Correcting Common Dog Problems. Cesar Millan and Melissa Jo Peltier. Rep. Three Rivers (103,863).
Bananagrams!: The Official Book. Puzzles by Joe Edley, created by Abe and Rena Nathanson. Orig. Workman (103,583).
1,000 Places to See Before You Die. Patricia Schultz. Orig. Workman (103,578).
The Almost Moon. Alice Sebold. Back Bay (103,178).
AAP New Mother's Guide to Breastfeeding. American Academy of Pediatrics, Joan Younger Meek with Sherill Tippins. Rep. Bantam (102,905).
Halo: Essential Tales of the Halo Universe. Various authors. Orig. Tor (102,779).
The Enchantress of Florence: A Novel. Salman Rushdie. Rep. Random (102,351).
Letter to My Daughter. Maya Angelou. Rep. Random (101,394).
Snuff. Chuck Palahniuk. Vintage/Anchor (101,352).
*The Tenth Circle. Jodi Picoult. Washington Square Press.
Why We Suck: A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid. Denis Leary. Rep. Plume (101,093).
The Drunkard's Walk. Leonard Mlodinow. Vintage/Anchor (100,198).
Out Stealing Horses: A Novel. Per Petterson. Reissue. Picador (100,000).
Lush Life: A Novel. Richard Price. Rep. Picador (100,000).
Mere Christianity. C.S. Lewis. HarperOne (100,000+).
Eat This, Not That! For Kids. David Zinczenko. Rodale (100,000).

Nov 5, 2010

Raising Rebellion The Rys Chronicles - Book Trailer of the Day

I haven't done a book trailer in a while, so here you go! Yay!

Raising Rebellion The Rys Chronicles is an epic fantasy by Tracy Falbe, one book of a quartet. You can download the first book for free, which is a nice touch. It's also available as a trade paperback.

This is a simple trailer. There is a solid soundtrack, a few strong images and logical, enticing content that gives enough information to provide some idea of the worldbuidling without overwhelming us with details. I like that the theme is a strong component of the hook. Can good overcome evil without becoming evil? It may be objected that this is not an original theme. I have yet to meet a good theme that was "original." The best themes are not original; they are eternal.

Nov 2, 2010

The Book Singularity

Proponents of the Singularity believe that humans will one day transcend biology. There are different versions, but one theory is that humans will all become uploaded into digitally stored data strings, existing in a purely virtual environment.

I'm skeptical about that.

But another Singularity Event does appear to be nigh. The Book Singularity. Books will transcend their traditional physical form, and become not just different, but more than they were.

Is the Book Singularity at hand? Libroid thinks so, and has some alternatives for the hyper-book future:

Enter Libroid, which creator Neffe -- a veteran journalist for Germany's Der Spiegel magazine and author of a best-selling book on Charles Darwin -- hopes will beat its own path to success.

The program, which currently runs only on Apple's iPad tablet computer, splits the traditional book page into three columns, allowing authors space to annotate their text with footnotes, images, maps, videos and web links.

Libroid delivers the book's core text in the middle of the page. Two smaller columns on either side carry the extra content. Page numbers are abandoned in favor of a percentage bar that tells readers where they are.

Interactive elements allow readers to make their own comments on virtual book clubs that can be linked up to the text. It also offers authors the possibility of updating their own work (something that U.S. author Jonathan Franzen might appreciate after the wrong draft of his latest novel was published in the UK).

With Libroid publications also allowing readers to flit between different translations of the text, Neffe said he believes the added extras, plus a lower price tag, will set it apart from standard e-books.

Though circumspect about its chances for success, he said it does have several major selling points, not least the potential to generate a new medium for fiction writers who, he says, are already lining up to try it out.

This is standard enhanced book stuff. Okay, I'm saying "standard" even though enhanced books are far from standard yet! But this part was not new to me. However, this was:

Neffe agrees, saying although he has been bombarded by suggestions from authors, he is choosing carefully. One winning idea, he says, is the "round book."

"Round books are those with no beginning and no end. Experienced authors tell me they have problems because every linear story has centrifugal forces that try to get out from the center.

"There is a well-known author in Germany who writes crime stories. He wants to randomly mix chapters so you would be the judge in the criminal case.

"You get nine different reports from witnesses and when you shake it up, they will mix up, so you always start with different one. Every reader is having a different experience."

Nonlinear books aren't entirely new. Remember the old Choose Your Own Adventure books? Ah, the memories.

Joe Konrath has written a send-up of one of these, what he calls, "Write Your Own Damn Story" Adventure which he claims will, "push ebook technology to the boundaries of reading enjoyment, or something like that."

Much as I love 'em, these kind of books do have one drawback, which is that they break the fourth wall. That works for some stories, especially funny ones, but usually I like to immerse myself in the world of the book. I like the feeling it is all "real" on its own terms, that there is a certain way it "actually" happened.

However, the "round book" idea is different from the choose-your-story idea. The round book can still assume there was a "true" history, a "way it really happened." The illusion of fact, the fourth wall, can remain intact. All that changes are the order in which you discover them. It's as if you were given an easy option to watch Lost in either the order shown or actual chronological order, or some other order in which the events make actual sense. (And if you figure out what that is, please tell me.)