No, it’s not the Spanish-language edition of new novel from J.K. Rowling or Stephen King, or a special event with Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotamayor, but a one-day event for the first volume of the autobiography of the controversial leader of the Brazil-based Universal Church of the Kingdom of God, Edir Macedo. McNally Jackson in New York City, which is hosting the only event in the United States, has already presold 65,000 copies of Nada Que Perder (Nothing to Lose) in advance of a signing with Bishop Romualdo Panceiro, head of the church's U.S. arm, on Saturday morning.
“We’re very proud and very happy. It really is breaking Spanish-language book records for sales. That’s what’s so exciting for us. It shows the market that’s out there. We’ll report it to the New York Times,” says owner Sarah McNally, who describes the planning that has gone into the event to that of a wedding. The store’s café will be transformed with new curtains and flowers in a palette of cream, white, and blue. McNally’s also spent time on traffic flow for the several thousand people expected to line up outside the store to get books signed by the bishop.
Although this is the largest Spanish-language, or English-language, book event that McNally Jackson has ever held, it has a strong Spanish-language section. It holds a Spanish-language event every week and hosts two Spanish-language book clubs. A portion of its Web site is dedicated to books in Spanish.
The numbers at McNally Jackson match sales in other countries for the latest book by the Pentecostal Christian leader. Since November, Grupo Planeta has been releasing Nada Que Perder in Portuguese, Spanish, and English at one-day events in countries where the church is strongest. There are eight million followers worldwide. Signings in Buenos Aires sold 52,00 books; Bogota, 16,000; Mexico City, 35,000; and Johannesburg, 101,000 with 55,000 people attending the event at the Apartheid Museum.
For the second volume, which is due out the first quarter of 2014 in the U.S., Planeta is considering moving the event to other cities, either Los Angeles or Miami, according to sales director Eugenio Roca.