Get ready to play ball!

• Aug 16, 2011 • No Comments

‘The Art of Fielding’ is shaping up to be a pretty big deal this autumn if the advanced reviews are anything to go by.

Little, Brown will be publishing in the US in hardback next month and 4th Estate will be releasing our e-book edition at the same time, with the UK hardback following in January.

Why, you might ask, are we delaying our hardback until next year but releasing the e-book in September? September is the start of Christmas for publishers and booksellers and books published in September and October make up the bulk of the new titles that will be on offer and price promoted over the Christmas period.

Traditionally, this in the season for non-fiction. That’s not to say that new fiction doesn’t work in the autumn – we are publishing are biggest novel of the year in October, Jeffrey Eugenides’ ‘The Marriage Plot’. The busy publishing schedules in the run up to Christmas do mean that promotional slots are in stiff competition and getting the support for a début hardback novel can be quite difficult.

With this in mind, we decided to publish the hardback in the New Year when retailers have more space in store as there is less competition from established big-hitters, both in store and on the review pages.

So why publish the e-book? Well, we also know that a lot of people will hear about this book from across the pond and want to read it.

While we want the hardback to have the best possible shot at great in-store support, at a time when reviewers might have more room to (hopefully) rave about an American début, we don’t want UK readers who’d like to read it now to be left out in the cold.

With another two weeks or so until the e-book publication, there is still a little bit of a wait. In the mean time, I’ll treat you all to an extract! You can read the extract below the reviews and if you link-through to our issuu page you can download the PDF

Advanced reviews for ‘The Art of Fielding’

“Reading The Art of Fielding is like watching a hugely gifted young shortstop: you keep waiting for the errors, but there are no errors. First novels this complete and consuming come along very, very seldom.”

-Jonathan Franzen

“Chad Harbach has hit a game-ender with The Art of Fielding.  It’s pure fun, easy to read, as if the other Fielding had a hand in it — as if Tom Jones were about baseball and college life.

-John Irving

“Chad Harbach’s ‘The Art of Fielding’ is one of those rare novels–like Michael Chabon’s ‘Mysteries of Pittsburgh’ or John Irving’s ‘The World According to Garp’–that seems to appear out of nowhere and then dazzles and bewitches and inspires until you nearly lose your breath from the enjoyment and satisfaction, as well as the unexpected news-blast that the novel is very much alive and well.”

-James Patterson

“An intricate, poised, tingling debut. Harbach’s muscular prose breathes new life into the American past-time, recasts the personal worlds that orbit around it, and leaves you longing, lingering, and a baseball convert long after the last page.”

-Téa Obreht, author of The Tiger’s Wife

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