New York Times Bestseller

GIRL IN TRANSLATION has just hit the New York Times Bestseller list at #29!  I received the call from my editor, Sarah McGrath, last night!  I was also congratulated by my agent, publisher, and other members of the Penguin/Riverhead team.  Yet another thing I didn’t know before I became a published author was that Wednesday would become a very important day in my week.  This is because the BookScan numbers come out on Wednesday, which more or less tell you how many copies of your book sold the week before.  Your agent or editor will send those numbers to you.  Then, if you’re anything like me, you start to calculate furiously and fruitlessly to try to figure out if your numbers have set into motion something to do with the other Wednesday event, which is: in between 4pm and 6pm Eastern Standard Time, the New York Times Bestseller List gets sent to your publishing house, ten days before it appears on the Internet and in print.  So they get an early look at what everyone else will be reading a week and a half later. Although there are many other bestseller lists, the New York Times list is still the list.

At least I assume this because no one calls me for any other list.  GIRL IN TRANSLATION has only been available for two complete weeks now and has already made the ABA Indie (Independent Bookstores) Bestseller List, the Walmart Bestseller List, the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association (SCIBA) Bestseller List, and now, the New York Times Bestseller list — all of which I am very happy about, but I only get called for the NY Times.  Of course, this may also be due to the little problem I have with telephones (see earlier blog entry on Trials of the Telephone) plus the fact that I now announce triumphantly whenever I pick up the phone and hear a voice at the other end, “I managed to answer the phone this time!”  This may not instill confidence.  And it is also close to midnight here in Holland by the time the Times list comes out.  Probably, no one DARES to phone me.

I did see something hopeful from my window, which was:

So since we’re getting a peek at the NY Times list in advance, it will actually be posted on the Internet on May 30, 2010.   I’m going to finish my blog posts on the end of my book tour, and all of the things I learned by then, as soon as I find the time.  I just got back to Holland and am dealing with a 9-hour time difference (can we spell JETLAG?), and have my two little and very active boys, plus phone calls with film people, and a live to tape national Dutch television program where I have to speak Dutch (NED 1 at 10:30AM on Sunday, May 23), and tomorrow I have two print interviews with two different photographers (for the TELEGRAAF and GROOT VOORSCHOTEN), and a phone interview with another television producer…  all of this within five days!  Not to mention the New York Times thing, which I am really completely THRILLED about, if I weren’t falling asleep here in front of the compu…

Category: New York Times Bestseller, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , 12 comments »

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12 Responses to “New York Times Bestseller”

  1. Jean

    Thanks so much, Rita! x Jean

  2. Rita Arens

    Congratulations, lady! 🙂

  3. admin

    Thanks for getting in touch and best of luck to you with your novel, Linda!


    Jean! How did I get here? By contacting your website designer who was recommended by my editor and browsing through her portfolio and Voila! Here I am reading your wonderful blog and feeling like you’re talking just to moi. My novel is coming out next July (2011) and I am just now getting geared up to get geared up. I doubt if I have to worry about showers and radio shows but it’s exciting to read about you and your bestseller. My novel is entitled Madame Bovary’s Daughter and it’s coming out in Trade paperback from Random House. Anyway, congratulations on all you’ve accomplished.

  5. admin

    Kay, thanks so much. I took a look at your blog and it’s wonderful. Your students are lucky to have you!

  6. Kay McGriff

    I just finished reading you book and am not surprised it is a best seller. I have been eagerly singing its praises to my friends. I also shared it with my 8th grade students on our class blog at
    I think some of them will be moved by it as well.

  7. admin

    Hi Jennie,
    I know exactly what you mean about leading two lives. I did as well, and so did many other Americans, I think. I feel the same way you do about loving both cultures. My mother still doesn’t speak English. I really hope you enjoy the book!

  8. Jennie

    I just bought your book (eBook version for my nook) and am excited to read it. To be honest, I don’t generally read works of fiction but I think the story and the main character is interesting enough. As a first generation American Born Chinese whose parents came to this country in their early twenties in search of that American dream, I can only imagine what their lives were like. My parents lived in NYC’s Chinatown for a short period before settling in Brooklyn and all the while my sister and I were growing up, we lived two distinct lives. The “Chinese” one at home where we had to speak Cantonese as my parents and extended family did not really speak English, and of course in school and with my friends, I lived the “Americanized” lifestyle. I am very proud to be an American but am just as proud to have been brought up to appreciate my family’s culture.

  9. admin

    Thank you for all of the nice comments, everyone! I’m so glad people enjoyed it, and if you have yet to read it, I do hope you like it!

  10. Kat Alexander

    Congratulations! I knew it’d be up there; it’s a brilliant book. Hope you don’t get too jetlagged to celebrate, you deserve it after all the hard work!


  11. Cecilia

    Congratulations to you!! My husband just presented your book to me as an annniversary present, and I can’t wait to start reading it. I’m a first generation Chinese immigrant as well, and went to college 30 minutes from you. I just found you here and I’m enjoying your blog posts. I agree you are quite funny and imagine that you’d do great on your book tour 🙂 (Alas, I think I may have just missed you? I’m in NC…)

    Best of luck!!

  12. Ruth

    I am not surprised your book is a best seller. It’s truly the most wonderful story and I was thrilled to receive an advanced copy through Congratulations!

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