This month, we look at a pair of household names, Guy Fieri and Michael Pollan, whose latest books—an outdoor-centric cookbook and a study of the way cooking transforms the food we eat—hit PW’s cookbook bestseller list, powered by data from Nielsen BookScan. (See the full list here.)
#1 Guy on Fire: 130 Recipes for Adventures in Outdoor Cooking
Guy Fieri, the exuberant host of multiple food shows on the Food Network, including the game show Minute to Win It, lands on the top spot of PW’s cookbook bestseller list with his new cookbook. Following such strong sellers as Guy Fieri Food: Cookin' It, Livin' It, Lovin' It (2011) and Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives: The Funky Finds in Flavortown: America's Classic Joints and Killer Comfort Food (2013), both written with Ann Volkwein, Fieri’s latest, Guy on Fire: 130 Recipes for Adventures in Outdoor Cooking (William Morrow, May 6), has already sold more than 23,000 print copies, according to Nielsen BookScan.
Fieri’s editor Cassie Jones, v-p and editorial director for William Morrow, said that Guy on Fire is Fieri’s “most personal book yet.” As for what’s included in the book, Jones said, “There’s practically nothing you would cook indoors that Guy won’t tackle outside—he lives the outdoorsy California lifestyle to the extreme, and he brings that adventurous spirit to the book.”
Morrow’s marketing campaign for the book includes social media promotions like recipe releases and retweet-to-win campaigns. Tavia Kowalchuk, senior director of marketing, said Fieri signed more than 8,000 copies of Guy on Fire, which have gone out to bookstores and other retail outlets. And the author’s dedicated Food Network fans saw on-air and online promotions for the book through Father’s Day.
#6 Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation
Author, journalist, and professor Michael Pollan has written extensively on food and healthy, sustainable eating, and his baseline advice to “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants” has resonated with readers worldwide. His bestselling previous books include The Omnivore’s Dilemma (2007) and In Defense of Food (2009). In his most recent work, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation (2013), Pollan explores cooking using the four elements: fire, water, air, and earth. The paperback edition of the book was released in April by Penguin and is already on its third printing, with 86,063 books in print.
To support the paperback release, Pollan went on a 10-city tour, doing readings and signings at Harvard Bookstore in Cambridge, Mass., and Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh, N.C., among other stores. According to Sarah Hutson, publicity director at the Penguin Press, Pollan was treated to lots of barbecue on the road, likely inspired by the chapter on barbecue in Cooked. One store offering barbecue was The Booksellers at Laurelwood in Memphis, Tenn., which hosted an offsite event on May 20. “Michael loved it!” said Hutson.
While on the road, Pollan also did national and regional media, including appearances on Bloomberg TV, NPR’s “Here & Now,” and Huffington Post Live. Feature interviews also appeared in the Boston Globe and The Tennessean.