The last four months of the fiscal year, which include the holiday sales season, are usually the stronger ones for Random House. This year, we have much catching up to do from September through December to reach our ambitious targets. To do so, we will need every sale from our books—and a little bit more—for the last four months.
Here are a brief business overview and bestseller highlights from our Random House companies worldwide for the half-year and a preview of some of their highly anticipated books for the fall.
Random House North America
Our overall U.S. book revenues for this half-year matched our sales for the first half of 2007, which was not easy to achieve in this economic environment.
From January to June, we placed 161 of our titles on the New York Times and 56 titles on the national Toronto Globe and Mail bestseller lists. Our biggest hardcovers for this period were John Grisham’s “The Appeal,” a two-million-plus-copy book, and “Audition” by television legend Barbara Walters, with one million copies in print. Demand for Barack Obama’s two memoirs continues to be enormous. We shipped almost 1.2 million trade paperback and hardcover copies of “Dreams From My Father” and “The Audacity of Hope” since January.
Senator Obama is also the author of the Foreword for “Change We Can Believe In,” written by the staff of Obama for America, which we will publish next month. For the fall, we also have four blockbuster cookbooks from Giada De Laurentiis, Ina Garten, Rachael Ray and Martha Stewart; a memoir from television’s Bill O’Reilly; and “The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life” by Alice Schroeder. In fiction, we will publish “A Mercy” by Nobel laureate Toni Morrison; new hardcovers and paperback reprints from our No. 1 bestselling Jonathan Kellerman, Dean Koontz and Danielle Steel; and the multi-million-copy paperback editions of John Grisham’s “The Appeal.” In Canada, there is great anticipation for the novel “The Flying Troutmans” by Miriam Toews, and “Don Cherry’s Hockey Stories and Stuff.”