Mark Twain’s Autobiography Flying Off the Shelves

Article in the NYT: Mark Twain’s Autobiography Flying Off the Shelves

Excerpt: When editors at the University of California Press pondered the possible demand for “Autobiography of Mark Twain,” a $35, four-pound, 500,000-word doorstopper of a memoir, they kept their expectations modest with a planned print run of 7,500 copies.

Now it is a smash hit across the country, landing on best-seller lists and going back to press six times, for a total print run — so far — of 275,000. The publisher cannot print copies quickly enough, leaving some bookstores and online retailers stranded without copies just as the holiday shopping season begins.

Comments

Surprising that UC Press didn't see this one coming

Sure, it's a big book--but it's also unfettered/uncensored Clemens, a manuscript that he didn't want published until the centennial mark, it's been getting very good notices (articles about it, at least) and at $35 it's a bargain. I don't very often buy books, but I'm tempted on this one.

7,500 copies? Really? Half a million eventual sales wouldn't surprise me at all. Unfortunately, given the price, UC Press might not be making a huge killing on this book to support future efforts...but I'm sure they're making some money. That will encourage the Twain Archive to keep doing great work.

Online prices

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