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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Do Pulitzers sell books?

As we all know, the Pulitzers have been announced, and, as Publisher's Lunch remarks, it is interesting to follow the figures.
Sales as tracked by Nielsen BookScan show relative parity among three of the four winners to date in the outlets tracked by the service. The fiction winner sold close to 12,000 copies in hardcover and almost 44,000 in paperback so far; The Hemingses of Monticello is up to just over 45,000 hardcovers after the NBA win; and Slavery by Another Name has sold approximately 22,000 hardcovers and 4,000 trade paperbacks.

American Lion is in a completely different class, with registered sales of close to 360,000 copies, and the publisher reporting 500,000 copies in print. Random House Trade Paperbacks has moved up the paperback release to the end of April, with an announced 200,000-copy first printing.

In case you have forgotten, here is the list.

Fiction: Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout (Random House)

History: The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family by Annette Gordon-Reed (W.W. Norton & Company)

Biography: American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House by Jon Meacham (Random House)

General Nonfiction: Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black Americans from the Civil War to World War II by Douglas A. Blackmon (Doubleday)

Poetry: The Shadow of Sirius by W.S. Merwin (Copper Canyon Press)

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