Monday, March 22, 2010

Four Bay Area Authors Crack the Big Time’ Weekly has just released its assessment of the 2009 publishing season, which wasn’t nearly as successful as the 2008 season.

But there are lots of fascinating nuggets in the list, including information about which Bay Area authors sell the most books in the U.S.

It’s quite a small list, which means not many local authors are selling hundreds of thousands of copies of their books. But I am quite sure the quality of the writing in the Bay Area is higher than many of the bestsellers, such as Dan Brown’s latest thriller, The Lost Symbol, which sold more books than any other: 5,543,643.

In the fiction category, San Francisco author Christopher Moore sold 146,098 copies of Fool, his eleventh book.

Annie Barrows, who lives in the East Bay, sold 104,284 copies of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

 For non-fiction, that Danville hero, Chesley Sullenberger, sold 306,413 copies of Highest Duty.

And former FDA Commissioner David Kessler (I think he lives in the Bay Area) sold 155,000 copies of The End of Overeating.

In other news, congratulations go out to Linda Himelstein, whose book The King of Vodka: The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire, was nominated for a James Beard Award for best book in the beverage category. She is up against  Been Doon So Long: A Randall Grahm Vinthology by Randall Grahm, which was published by UC Press.

Oretta Zanini de Vita’s Encyclopedia of Pasta, also published by UC Press, was nominated in the reference category.

The spring edition of Lapham's Quarterly has a run down of what writers from previous centuries earned at their day jobs and what that salary would look like today if adjusted for inflation.

Anthony Trollope was a postal surveyor and earned )in today's dollars) $35,000-$50,000. Charlotte Bronte, a governess, only earned $1,838. T.S. Eliot, a clerk for Lloyd's Bank of London, earned between $18-$31,000.

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