Frontlist Fiction Hits a Dry Spell
By Jim Milliot, with reporting by Rachel Deahl and Judith Rosen
No adult fiction title released in the January-through-June period managed to make the top 20 print bestsellers list in the first half of the year. In the first six months of 2015, two novels released that year, The Girl on the Train and Grey, held the first and third spots, respectively, on the print list and were #1 and #2 on the Amazon Top 20 Kindle E-books List.
Publishers have been expecting difficulty getting media attention for their books in the second half of 2016, as coverage of the presidential election dominates the various media outlets where authors usually drum up publicity. But in the first half of the year, the news cycle was already focused on the unusually entertaining Republican primary campaign season and news about terrorist attacks and police shootings. “Current events have gotten in the way” of publishers’s efforts to promote new books, said Carol Fitzgerald, president of The Book Report Network.