Passion has inspired the #1 bestseller at Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, Ariz., for the week ended Saturday, January 20.
Pat Davis's The Passion Parties Guide to Great Sex
honors thanks to a pre-Valentine's Day event held recently at the
store. "She was incredibly vibrant," Changing Hands owner Gayle Shanks
said about Davis, who is the president of Passion Parties, Inc. "She
got everybody in this passionate mood, and they all wanted the book."
Davis's appearance drew some 70 people, most of whom purchased the
title. "It's almost unheard of to sell nearly the same number of books
as people who come to the event," Shanks said. The store sold out of
The Passion Parties Guide to Great Sex
during the event, which proved
to be a boon in other ways as well. "The foot traffic was tremendous,"
Shanks said, and resulted in significant sales of Valentine's Day
Although Christopher Moore won't appear at Changing Hands until
February 3, his new novel, You Suck
, is the store's #2 bestselling
title. "What we do with our large events is sell the books with a
signing ticket enclosed in advance," said Shanks, who expects about 200
people to attend Moore's signing. Tickets are free for in-store events
and determine the order in which books are signed--the earlier a book
is purchased, the less time spent waiting.
The store uses e-mail blasts to alert customers about upcoming author
events, "and the books start selling right away," Shanks continued.
"This training we've done for our customers is very helpful for us as
well. It gives us time to order more books if a lot of people are
buying copies in advance of an event."
Author appearances account for several other titles on the store's
bestseller list, among them editor Ruth Andrew Ellenson's The Modern
Jewish Girl's Guide to Guilt
, motivational speaker Ray Dodd's
and M. J. Ryan's This Year I Will . . .
promoted with author appearances are included on a large display table
near the store's entrance. Ryan's title is also featured on a "You in
the New Year" display, as is Drs. Mehmet Oz and Michael Roizen's You on
. With coverage on Oprah and other national publicity outlets,
You on a Diet
"is one of those slam dunk diet books of the year,"
according to Shanks.
Holding steady in the #9 spot is What Is the What
by Dave Eggers. An
event propelled the book onto Changing Hands' bestseller list, but the
author wasn't at the gathering. The store hosted Valentino Achak Deng,
a Sudanese refugee and the inspiration for Eggers' latest novel. During
the event, several young men from the AZ Lost Boys Center, a haven for
Sudanese refugees, sold handmade ceramic cow figurines to raise money
for a scholarship fund. "It was a phenomenal event," said Shanks.
Changing Hands customer and Arizona State University professor G. Lynn
Nelson's Writing and Being
holds the #3 spot on the bestseller list.
Students taking Nelson's class are directed to Changing Hands--which
hosts many writing workshops and panels--to purchase the book,
which is displayed in the store's writing section. (Fun fact: Shanks
took courses with Nelson while attending ASU in the 1970s.)
Paolo Coelho's fable The Alchemist
, ranked at #12, is a consistent
bestseller for Changing Hands. Another frontrunner since its
publication in October is The Audacity of Hope
by Barack Obama, who
appeared in Tempe last fall at an event sponsored by Changing Hands.
The senator's tome was a popular holiday gift book at the store and
received a boost last week when Obama launched a presidential
Changing Hands employees receive credit for the appearance of This I
in the #10 spot. "My staff is incredibly creative, and they've
come up with two unique programs," said Shanks. One is an endcap
designated "We Love this Book," and currently featured is the essay
collection This I Believe
, based on the NPR feature.
The "We Love this Book" display was created after several staff members
met Sara Gruen at the ABA's Winter Institute a year ago. Besides
handselling Gruen's Water for Elephants
, they wanted to find a way to
draw additional attention to the novel and came up with the idea for
the display. The second employee-devised program, called "Page 23,"
promotes titles aimed at young adult readers.
The staff picks section is also popular with customers. In addition to
a quarterly selection, each staffer chooses a "best book of the year,"
one of which is The Memory Keeper's Daughter
. Kim Edwards' novel "keeps
selling and selling," said Shanks, and it's currently the #7
bestseller. Staff favorites are displayed with a write-up describing
each one, and when a quarter is over the books are moved into the
appropriate sections and remain face out as long as they continue to
Each year Changing Hands creates a full-color, printed brochure with
staff selections and distributes it to customers. "It's a great sales
piece for us. We try to get it done as early as we can in October and
hand it out into the New Year," said Shanks. "It's really the only
in-store advertising that we do beyond our posters and flyers for
events." For those who would like to read Shanks' pick for the best
book of 2006, it's the novel Returning to Earth
Changing Hands Bestsellers during the week ended Saturday, January 20:
1. The Passion Parties Guide to Great Sex: Secrets and Techniques to
Keep Your Relationship Red Hot
by Pat Davis (Broadway, $19.95,
2. You Suck: A Love Story
by Christopher Moore (Morrow, $21.95, 0060590297/9780060590291)
3. Writing and Being: Embracing Your Life through Creative Journaling
by G. Lynn Nelson (Inner Ocean/Innisfree Press, $12.95,
4. You on a Diet: The Owner's Manual for Waist Management
by Michael F.
Roizen, M.D., and Mehmet C. Oz, M.D. (Free Press, $25,
5. This Year I Will . . . : How to Finally Change a Habit, Keep a
Resolution, or Make a Dream Come True
by M. J. Ryan (Broadway,
6. The Modern Jewish Girl's Guide to Guilt
edited by Ruth Andrew Ellenson (Plume, $14, 0452287480/9780452287488)
7. The Memory Keeper's Daughter
by Kim Edwards (Penguin, $14, 0143037145/9780143037149)
8. The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream
by Barack Obama (Crown, $25, 0307237699/9780307237699)
9. What Is the What
by Dave Eggers (McSweeney's, $26, 1932416641/9781932416640)
10. This I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Remarkable Men and
edited by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman (Holt, $23,
11. BeliefWorks: The Art of Living Your Dreams
by Ray Dodd (Hampton Roads, 14.95, 157174472X/9781571744722)
12. The Alchemist
by Paolo Coelho (HarperSanFranciso, $13.95, 0061122416/9780061122415)