The world of publishing is indeed mysterious at times. I notice, with some regularity, that different publishers frequently issue books on the same topic at about the same time. Of course, when it comes to big events like the 100th anniversary of the First World War, one would expect to see this. But one example I remember is that there were three books published at about the same time on the whacky and wonderful world of cheese. This happens more times than you might imagine.
Are there spies in the publishing houses? Perhaps there are moles from other publishers who report news such as “Knopf has an author working on a book about cheese for fall release . . .”
The hot topic for publishers now appears to be failure. There are two books on our new book display that address this topic, specifically how to learn and improve as a result of failure. Fail Fast, Fail Often: How Losing can Help You WIN (published by Penguin) is one, and the other is The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well is the Key to Success (published by Viking).
The failure theories are nothing new and are but the latest take on the ancient adage that one must learn from one’s mistakes. I’m not sure if the failure titles have sold well enough to be a success with publishers or not, but they are probably holding their own against the cheese.