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USA Today Besteller List, Week Ending August 19, 2007


You can’t keep a good wizard down, not even with a love triangle between a needy teenage girl and two supernatural heroes. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows moves back into the number one position.

Only two new books on the list of note: Play Dirty by Sandra Brown, debuting on the list at No. 8 and Suzanne Brockmann’s Force of Nature showing up in the 22 slot. The mid month release date works well for authors. I understand Eloisa James’ next book, An Affair Before Christmas, is to receive the mid month release (November 13) in an effort, likely, to move her out of the extended NYTimes list and into the top 15.

* * *

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, J.K. Rowling, art by Mary GrandPrà© (Arthur A. Levine/Scholastic), $34.99, No. 1 (Peak 1).
Eclipse, Stephenie Meyer (Little, Brown), $18.99, No. 2 (Peak 1).
Play Dirty, Sandra Brown (Simon & Schuster), $26.95, No. 8 (debut).
Twilight, Stephenie Meyer (Little, Brown), $8.99, No. 9 (Peak 9). Moved up a slot from last week.
Almost Dead, Lisa Jackson (Zebra), $7.99, No. 12 (Peak 2).
Ricochet, Sandra Brown (Pocket), $9.99, No. 14 (Peak 5). Paperback release of hardcover.

New Moon, Stephenie Meyer (Little Brown for Young Readers), $17.99, No. 17 (Peak 17). Was 31 last week.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6), J.K. Rowling, art by Mary GrandPrà© (Scholastic), $9.99, No. 18 (Peak 1). 97 weeks on list.
Force of Nature, Suzanne Brockmann (Ballantine), $21.95, No. 22 (debut).
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Book 5), J.K. Rowling, art by Mary GrandPrà© (Scholastic), $9.99, No. 23 (Peak 1). 173 weeks on the list.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, J.K. Rowling, art by Mary GrandPrà© (Scholastic), $6.99, No. 24 (Peak 1). 291 weeks on the list.
Dakota Born (Dakota Series #1), Debbie Macomber (Mira) $7.99, No. 25 (Peak 10). This is a reprint/reissue.
Macgregor Brides, Nora Roberts (Silhouette Special Releases), $7.99, No. 28 (Peak 4). This is a reprint/reissue.
Dockside, Susan Wiggs (Mira) $7.99, No. 29 (Peak 14).
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, J.K. Rowling, art by Mary GrandPrà© (Scholastic), $6.99, No. 30 (Peak 1). 254 weeks on the list.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J.K. Rowling, art by Mary GrandPrà© (Scholastic), $7.99, No. 32 (Peak 1). 263 weeks on the list.
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling, art by Mary GrandPrà© (Scholastic), $8.99, No. 33 (Peak 1). 265 weeks on the list.
Motor Mouth, Janet Evanovich (HarperCollins), $7.99, No. 36 (Peak 7). Paperback release of a hardcover.
Touch of Darkness, Christina Dodd (Signet), $7.99, No. 42 (Peak 17).
Tangled Up In You, Rachel Gibson (Avon), $6.99, No. 50 (Peak 25).

Devil May Cry, Sherrilyn Kenyon (St. Martin’s Press), $19.95, No. 52 (Peak 8). I wonder at the big decline. I am thinking that the hard core fans went out and bought right away and the others are kind of waiting to see how long their library copy will get to them.
The Boleyn Inheritance, Philippa Gregory (Touchstone), $16.00, No. 62 (Peak 36). Trade paperback release of hardcover.
High Noon, Nora Roberts (Putnam), $26.95, No. 69 (Peak 2).

Straight from the Heart, Tami Hoag, (Bantam), $6.99, No. 78 (Peak 57). Reissue
Tanner’s Scheme, Lora Leigh (Berkley), $7.99, No. 83 (Peak 47).
Country Brides, Debbie Macomber (Mira), $7.99, No. 84 (Peak 5).
Embraced By Darkness, Keri Arthur (Dell), $6.99, No. 85 (Peak 33).
Into the Storm, Suzanne Brockmann (Ballantine), $7.99, No. 86 (Peak 15). Paperback release of hardcover.
Twelve Sharp, Janet Evanovich (St. Martin’s Paperbacks), $7.99, No. 94 (peak 3 as a paperback release). Paperback release of hardcover
The Devilish Pleasures of a Duke, Jillian Hunter (Ballantine), $6.99, No. 97 (Peak 42).
Lean Mean Thirteen, Janet Evanovich (St. Martin’s Press), $27.50, No. 98 (Peak 1).
Never Deceive a Duke, Liz Carlyle (Pocket), $7.50, No. 122 (Peak 27).

On the Prowl, Patricia Briggs, Eileen Wilks, Karen Chance, Sunny ( Berkley), $7.99, No. 134 (Peak 73). I can’t say whether this is a disappointment or not. It didn’t have much staying power.
Highlander Untamed, Monica McCarty (Ballantine), $6.99, No. 139 (Peak 92). Still lingering on the bestseller list which is great for a debut author.
Mercy, Julie Garwood (Pocket), $7.99, No. 147 (Peak 5 in hardcover).
The Perfect Bride (de Warenne Dynasty), Brenda Joyce (Harlequin Books), $7.99, No. 148 (Peak 42).


Out of the list:

The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever, Julia Quinn (Avon), $7.99, No. 122 (Peak 4).
Beyond Reach, Karin Slaughter (Delacorte Press), $25.00, No. 127 (Peak 53). 2 weeks on the list and placement no higher than 53. Mess with a readers’ expectations at your own peril seems to be the message.
Angels Fall, Nora Roberts, (Jove), $7.99, No. 129 (Peak 1 – as a hardcover release). Paperback release.
Up Close and Dangerous: A Novel, Linda Howard (Ballantine), $25.95, No. 134 (Peak 19).

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. sherry thomas
    Aug 23, 2007 @ 18:11:28

    Jane, can you elaborate a little on why the mid-month release works better for authors? Since the best-seller lists are compiled weekly, it would seem, logically at least, that where the week fall in the month shouldn’t make any difference.

    I’m curious since both of my release dates are end of month (3/25 & 7/29). And I know that Monica McCarty’s are three consecutive end-of-months.

  2. Jane
    Aug 23, 2007 @ 20:55:21

    This is my theory. During the last week of the month and the first week, most of the new releases are being put out. If you need to have x amount of sales in one week to make a list and the reader has the option of buying several books, choice can cause the sales to be divided as reader one buys books A, B, and D; reader 2 buys B C and D; and reader 3 buys C E F.

    With a mid week release, particularly for a larger name author like Feather, Brockmann, Evanovich, and now James, there are only one or two new releases that week. The sales and choices during the mid month are more concentrated and the only “new” book is that one so that when readers go to the store, readers one, two and three, all buy that new book.

    Further new books sell more than books that are a few weeks old. (mass markets have a shelf life of approx 3 months and start to lose velocity of sales after a couple of weeks).

    This is just my theory but I believe that there must be something behind that since only the bigger names are being given that mid month treatment. I remember that someone once told me that some authors who were building to gain bestseller traction would have their release date moved around to avoid being sold near a Nora Roberts or a Janet Evanovich or a Harry Potter, etc. Having an isolated date of release where they are the big name helps to put them higher on the list.

  3. sherry thomas
    Aug 25, 2007 @ 13:24:47

    Highly intriguing. Thanks.

    I know I’ve said this before but I really learn more about publishing at this reader site than almost anywhere else online or off line.

  4. Michelle
    Aug 25, 2007 @ 16:39:53

    I know the news is comparing Stephenie Meyer to J.K. Rowling but in my humble opinion she isn’t in the same league. Glad to see Harry Potter back to #1. Twilight was wonderful but I hated Eclipse.

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