Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Notes from PW

Leave it to you BGs to shoot oodles of title ideas my way. I think we covered just about every color and time of day, don’t you? From Khaki Star (only a sci-fi writer could come up with that one) to Scarlet Eve. (Hm. Sounds like two well-known female characters.)

Before I forget, would all of you who are attending Mount Hermon kindly leave a comment and tell us so? It would be nice to know what fellow BGs will be around. I have a few in my own fiction mentoring track. I will be blogging from MH, and it would be great to see y’all in the lounge at night and have you make an appearance on Forensics and Faith. Think of all the stories you can tell about the editors/agents.

Now for today, some news from Publisher’s Weekly:

1. Koontz hits the screen! His upcoming novel, The Husband (released in May) will be brought to you by Random House Films (the jointly run development and production hybrid established by the publisher and Focus Features). The Husband is about a man on a hunt to save his wife. RH Films president Peter Gethers, said that The Husband holds promise because it's "a commercial book, but one with some real depth and heart to it." Yup, that Koontz always has a lot of heart.

2. Numbers are in for the top-selling books of 2005. (Based on numbers provided by publishers of books shipped and billed.) Interesting to see that within the top 15 in fiction, a whopping 10 are in the mystery/suspense/thriller category. Suspense rules! Top seller was Grisham's The Broker, weighing in with 1,827,877 books. Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code was second, with 1,575,342. James Patterson’s Mary, Mary was third, with 1,103,036. Patterson also appears at numbers 11, 12, and 13, each one selling in the 700,000’s, making him the largest selling novelist for the year. Nicholas Sparks’ At First Sight is at 4, with 1,093,717; Patricia Cornwell at 3 for Predator, selling 1,040,250; and Nicholas Sparks again at #5 with True Believer, selling 1,040,250. Jan Karon’s Light From Heaven is at 6 with 872,000. Number 15 on the list, David Baldacci’s The Camel, sold 634, 054, not exactly shabby. Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins were at #19 and #21 for The Rising and The Regime, selling in the 500s and 400s, respectively.

3. There’s an interesting article by Jonathan Merkh, senior VP and publisher of Nelson Books, bemoaning the fact that general market bestseller lists don’t count sales at Christian bookstores. Merkh says, “. . . the Book Industry Study Group and major retailers continue to identify the religion category as one of the fastest growing in the industry . . . “I believe that if [these sales were counted], Christian titles would dominate—yes, dominate—the lists.”

Here’s the crux of the matter, as Merkh points out: neither Christian retailers nor the general market bestseller lists want Christian retail sales to be counted. One of the reasons from the general market it that “it would be too much work to try to count the estimate from the different markets and then weigh them in comparison to each other.” Christian retailers don't want their books counted because they fear the general bookstores will “cherry-pick their sales.” But as Merkh points out, “if general market retailers want to cherry-pick, all they have to do is look at the Christian bestseller lists.”

He concludes: “Developing a way to count all book sales would benefit the entire industry. It would provide more accurate information to the reading public. It would give publishers of all types a better understanding of what the readers are really reading and shape future publishing decisions. Christian stores would profit, because more Christian books on the bestseller lists could mean an increased public awareness of (and interest in) their stores. General market stores could improve their sales if they saw how well Christian books sold, because they'd be able to make more informed decisions about what to buy and perhaps improve their sales by dedicating more space to the category.”


Stuart said...

Ah the endless controversy and strife in the publishing industry. :) Ok maybe not that bad, but I often have the image of many guns pointed at many feet, just itching for the opportunity to pull the trigger. :p

Glad to see suspense going well. *shoots green-eyed monster in the foot*

I pray that everybody going has a great time at mount hermon, and that each and every one of you finds a unique encounter with God that directs and revitalizes you.

Cara Putman said...

I second Stuart's prayer for those of you attending Mt. Hermon. I know you must be excited. I can hardly wait for the ACFW conference in September.

And for those of you who are going, please let us who are praying for your from home know what you are learning :-)

Unknown said...

I'm leaving tonight to drop my two young ones at grandma's before heading up to Mount Hermon tomorrow. Pray we make it through all the airport security without my youngest son causing a national security incident. He tried to pull a fire alarm at the last airport we were at.

Looking forward to seeing Brandilyn and everyone else who's going up there.

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to seeing you at Mount Hermon.

Rebecca LuElla Miller said...

I'll be at Mount Hermon--coming for the early session tomorrow.

That last quote was encouraging. I think, Finally someone with some common sense! Hope others in the industry are listening.


Lynette Sowell said...

See you there...Brandilyn, Dineen, Becky, Jennifer, Erin (hey roomie). I know we'll fill you in on what happens, Cara. Thanks for the prayers, y'all.

C.J. Darlington said...

Have a great time everyone! I'll be watching here for updates.

Pammer said...

Everyone going to Mt. Hermon...have fun, learn lots, and take notes for us that can't go for whatever reasons. :0)

Praying for you all.

Bonnie S. Calhoun said...

I hope everyone has a great time at Mount Hermon....I'm too far away to attend!

On the issue of book seller lists. I think we inch closer to inclusion every day. Putnam has just announced a Praise line for christian books. It will not be a stand alone imprint but will work in tandem with all of their other imprints. With all the recent buying of Christian houses by secular publishers it will only be a matter of time before these big guys, who run the show anyhow...figure out how to better capitolize on the growing
christian market!