I’m starting a new column for Wednesdays on USA Today Bestseller list predictions. There were a few books that were on sale last week that had street dates for Tuesday, September 25, 2007. The most notable one was JR Ward’s Lover Unbound. According to Bookscan, purchases of Ward’s book were made as early as two weeks ago which is bound to hurt the official street date week’s sales. She didn’t make it onto the USA Today list last week and I don’t think she’ll make it on this week either. In fact, according to the sales recorded by Bookscan, Monica McCarty, a new historical romance author, is outselling Ward. Would that be true overall? Probably not. I would expect to find Ward in more non traditional book locations like Wal-Mart and drugstores and grocery stores who may not be reporting point of sales data to Bookscan.
I think McCarty’s success is interesting. She writes historical romances set in early 17th C Scotland. By most accounts, historical books are selling by author meaning that historical romance readers tend to buy the romance authors they recognize. McCarty’s first book was release in August and I had not seen any significant buzz campaign for her books prior to their release so name recognition can’t be the reason that she has been selling so well. Obviously word of mouth is helping to propel the Highlander series sales. I think McCarty’s success shows that there is definitely readers for the historical genre and readers who are interested in something other than Regency England.
Seaside Avenue by Debbie Macomber was number 1 last week and I would expect that to remain unchanged. Nora Roberts’ In Death books are categorized as mysteries so it doesn’t show up on the Romance only bookscan report. However, given her past track record (and the fact that I think this is a really good In Death book), it’s likely to stay in the top 25. Beyond Seduction is in the number 2 position on Bookscan and while there is some drop in numbers, I would think that it wouldn’t drop tremendously. Overall, I don’t see much change other than the books that were on the list last week other than a slight drop for the big name books.
We’ll see tomorrow how close I am.