Today in books and publishing: Suzanne Collins is the bestselling Kindle author, books about Navy SEALs are selling nicely, and Jeremy Lin is getting a kid-oriented biography.
Amazon has announced that Suzanne Collins, author of the Hunger Games trilogy, is the "best-selling Kindle author of all-time," which is impressive and a little startling. The Hollywood Reporter notes more than 23.5 million print copies of the trilogy have been sold since the publication of The Hunger Games in 2008, but Collins doesn't have the extensive back catalogue of, say, Stephen King, who since 2008 has published three novels, two short story collections, and three Kindle singles. Amazon, as is their way, did not release exact numbers on just how many Kindle copies Collins has sold. [Amazon via TeleRead]
Al Zuckerman is "stepping down" as chairman of Writers House, the literary agency he founded in 1974. He'll be replaced by Amy Berkower, the agency's president. Berkower will be succeeded by senior agent Simon Lipskar. No reason for Zuckerman's departure was listed in the press release announcing the moves. According to Publishers Weekly, Zuckerman will continue to represent his stable of authors, including Stephen Hawking, Ken Follett, and Michael Lewis. [Publishers Weekly]
Books about Navy SEALs are selling like crazy, which makes sense, consider how much real-life SEALs have been in the news of late. But some of the titles are just using the special operations point as a jump off point for horror novels, like the terrifically titled Seal Team 666, which MacMillan will release in May. The best of these titles come with "a vivid you-are-there feel for the risks and horrors of combat," though even booksellers that have been raking in profits from books like American Sniper and Seal Team Six worry publishers could get greedy and unleash a torrent of sub-par SEAL books in an attempt to cash in on the fad, kind of like all the cryptic mysteries that tried riding the coattails of The Da Vinci Code. [The New York Times]
Random House will take over as the "primary publisher" for books based on Nickelodeon properties in January, replacing Simon & Schuster. Random House has been publishing Nickelodeon coloring books since 2000. Paula Allen, the senior vice president of Nickelodeon publishing noted the company wanted to "consolidate our publishing under one partner,” which became difficult when Simon & Schuster shuttered its coloring-book division. Under the new deal, Random House will get to distribute titles featuring the likes of SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, and the new, rebooted Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in "hardcover and paperback picture books, storybooks, leveled readers, chapter books, junior novels, and board books." [Publishers Weekly]
Jeremy Lin's star may be on the decline, but that hasn't stopped the folks at Scholastic from going ahead with a kid-friendly biography of the New York Knicks point guard. The book, by James Buckley, is called Jeremy Lin: Rising Star and will be available as an e-book and in print on April 1. Per Scholastic, it will be the first Lin bio "geared to kids ages 8 and up" and retail for $4.99. [USA Today]