Today in books and publishing: Schwarzenegger fails to pump up his sales figures; Murakami fans feel he was cheated; R.I.P. Larry Sloan, Mad Libs publisher; the most comfortable of book clubs.
Wimpy sales of Schwarzenegger's memoir. Why are you conspiring to make Arnold Schwarzenegger angry, book buyers? It's never pretty when he gets angry. Hopefully Arnold's people can shield him from the disappointing news that his memoir Total Recall sold only 21,000 copies in its first week. And he tried so hard to publicize it too! He got real with Lesley Stahl on 60 Minutes, opened himself up to Jon Stewart's ribbing on The Daily Show, and even held a "surprise" signing at New York's McNally Jackson. Compare Total Recall's performance with J.K. Rowling's bestselling success A Casual Vacancy, which pushed 350,000 units in its first week on shelves. [The Hollywood Reporter]
After Nobels, Harukists are smarting. Haruki Murakami was the odds-on favorite to win this year's Nobel Prize in literature ... at least to gambling enthusiasts. But those who follow the Nobels closely knew that Murakami's reputation as a pop writer, whether he deserves it or not, would prevent him from winning this most highfalutin of awards. Nevertheless, Murakami devotees known as "Harukists" gathered at a bar in Tokyo to cheer him on. The New Yorker's Roland Kelts was there to capture their dashed hopes upon Mo Yan's win: "The disappointed Harukists managed only sighs, followed by half-hearted applause for their neighbor’s accolade. 'I’m very happy the winner was someone from Asia,' one female Harukist told the Mainichi newspaper on her way home, polite to the end." If Murakami fans are already bummed out over one year's Nobel snub, how must Philip Roth fans feel? [The New Yorker]