Friday, March 25, 2011

Book News

 From Publishers Weekly:

More than a decade in the making, Christopher Paolini’s bestselling Inheritance Cycle draws to a close this fall with the publication of the fourth and final book, Inheritance, which Knopf Books for Young Readers will publish on November 8. Random House has announced a 2.5 million–copy first printing for the book. “The burning questions asked by fans around the world will finally be answered in this last installment,” said Paolini in a statement about the new book. “All will be revealed!” 

Paolini’s is quite the publishing success story: he began writing the first book in the Inheritance Cycle, Eragon, at age 15, and self-published it through Lightning Source. Then Knopf signed up the book and published it in fall 2003 (when Paolini was 20), followed by Eldest (2005) and Brisingr (2008). Combined, the books have sold 25 million copies worldwide, and Eragon was made into a 2006 film that grossed more than $75 million in the U.S. and nearly $250 million globally.
 
“The publication of Inheritance brings a dramatic and satisfying close to one of the best-loved fantasy series in recent publishing history,” said Nancy Hinkel, v-p and publishing director and Knopf BFYR. Executive editor Michelle Frey edited Inheritance along with the three preceding books. Inheritance will be published simultaneously in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand; in the U.S. audio and e-book versions will also be available on November 8. Knopf is planning a 10-city tour for Paolini, beginning on the book’s pub date in New York City.
 
If you want to sell in the mega-numbers, write or publish a series. That's the clear message from our compilation of last year's bestselling titles. Eighteen books for children and teens sold more than a million copies last year: all of them were from authors of big franchises: Jeff Kinney, Stephenie Meyer, Rick Riordan, Suzanne Collins, PC and Kristin Cast. The Wimpy Kid had a not-very-wimpy total: 11.5 million copies sold, of seven titles. Sales of Twilight books, while still significant, cooled somewhat last year—just over 8.5 million books sold in 2010 vs. 26.5 million in 2009 and 27.5 million in 2008. Riordan's various series added up to more than 10 million copies sold; nearly four million Hunger Games books were sold; and James Patterson's assorted series sold just over 2.5 million copies. Want more? Four-and-a-half million Fancy Nancy books, 3.2 million House of Night books, 2.4 million Pretty Little Liars books, and 1.5 million in the Immortals series, 1.8 million copies of The 39 Clues.

Some newer, up-and-coming series made strong showings in 2010, including Dork Diaries, Fallen, The Adventures of Ook & Gluk, Big Nate, The Carrie Diaries, and the first volume in John Grisham's Theodore Boone series for middle-graders.

And there's still room on the lists for some one-offs: Justin Bieber: First Step 2 Forever; Barack Obama's picture book, Of Thee I Sing; Lauren Oliver's debut YA novel, Before I Fall; and the middle-grade hit The Strange Case of Origami Yoda.

Scholastic Press today released the cover art for Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick, winner of the 2008 Caldecott Medal for The Invention of Hugo Cabret. His new novel expands on the heavily illustrated format of the earlier novel, presenting the stories of two children living 50 years apart, a girl in 1927 and a boy in 1977, who each set out on a quest to find what is missing in their lives. Wonderstruck will be released simultaneously in the U.S., the U.K., New Zealand, Australia, and Canada on September 13.
 
Tracy Mack, executive editor of Scholastic Press, has been working with Selznick on his latest novel for three years. She says that in Wonderstruck the author “ups the ante and challenges himself to play with the form he created in The Invention of Hugo Cabret, and evolves the form further.” Where that book offers a single story told in words and pictures, she explains, “This novel tells two independent stories—one told in words, the other in pictures. The structure is wholly original, the transitions between stories are awe-inspiring, and how the two stories ultimately come together is tender and resonant.”
 
Scholastic’s creative director, David Saylor, calls Selznick “a brilliant bookmaker who has a unique vision for all his projects,” and says that his own role in the creation of Wonderstruck “is to help realize Brian’s vision for the book in physical form: how the cover, case, and interior design details should look, how the artwork is showcased, and how the finished book will look and ‘feel’ as both an object and a reading experience. All the details matter to Brian, and I’m his sounding board on the multitude of design decisions that go into making his books.”
 
For the newly unveiled cover of the novel, Saylor notes, “We really wanted something dramatic, but also something iconic.” After bouncing around many cover concepts that were more complicated, he says, “we were drawn back again and again to the simplicity of the lightning bolt and the New York City skyline in 1977. That image will resonate with readers in surprising ways, starting from the first page and continuing through to the very last.”
 
The announced U.S. first printing for Wonderstruck is 500,000 copies. Mack believes that the novel will strike a chord with Hugo Cabret fans. “It gives readers much of what they loved about Hugo Cabret, and something entirely new at the same time,” she observes. “Hugo Cabret turned so many reluctant readers into readers, and this new novel has that same potential.”
 
Not long after the publication of Wonderstruck, The Invention of Hugo Cabret is due to spring to life on screen. A movie adaptation of the novel, which has more than 800,000 copies in print, is scheduled for release by Paramount Pictures in November, directed by Martin Scorsese.
 
 From Waking Brain Cells:

The Wall Street Journal has the news that Maurice Sendak will be releasing a new book, Bumble-Ardy.  HarperCollins has announced that it will be released this fall with a print run of 500,000.  Sendak first created the character for an animated short on Sesame Street in 1971.  Since that time, he has been unable to forget the character:
"He was funny. He was robust. He was sly. He was a sneak. He was all the things I like," Mr. Sendak said.

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