I know everyone else has blogged on it, but today is, in fact, The End, and that adorably lugubrious Daniel Handler, Lemony Snicket's, er, friend, was quoted in the SF Chronicle today as saying that he's surprised to find himself with a completed series on his hands.
What actually caught my attention -- other than the fact that this is a strange and clever series with a huge vocabulary and amusing literary allusions in -- is the number of copies in this first print run. According to the Chron, "The initial print run for "The End" is 2.5 million copies, the largest ever for HarperCollins' Children's Books. "One million is considered really big," said Kyle Good, vice president of corporate communications for Scholastic Books, which released that many copies of the latest "Captain Underpants" book in August."
Two point five MILLION.
"The Quills, an initiative launched with the support of Reed Business Information, is designed to be an industry qualified "consumers choice" awards program for books, honoring the current titles readers deem most entertaining and enlightening."
Okay. Admittedly, there are always questions about awards. I don't get the 'why?' of the Newbery most years - I can't pick a winner to save my life, nor can most people, several of whom are still bewildered about last year's honoree. Today, most of us are still scratching our heads at the dubious Quills awarded (ELDEST!? Over The Book Thief?!!? Rachel RAY over Julia CHILD!?!?!? Gaaaah! Are they INSANE!?!?! Oh, wait. This is a POPULARITY contest. Not a literary one. And note that they produced no statistics for the number of people who voted? Did anyone who can READ vote?? Oh, never mind...) this past week. But my question is, aside from the statuette, what do they win? For all of the "populist sensibility with Hollywood-style glitz " of which we are meant to partake October 28th with the televised Quills presentation, who is profiting from this? Where's the moolah? That's the question...
It's been a crazy week... and I'm just as glad to see the backside of it. Enjoy your weekend!