The book business is about to get a summer boost. Attorneys today confirmed that $400 million in refunds due readers following the end of the Apple e-book price-fixing case will begin flowing into customer accounts on June 21—with refunds for New York Times bestsellers approaching $7 per title purchased. Similar to the settlements with publishers, paid out in 2014, the bulk of the credits will automatically be delivered directly into the accounts of consumers at major book retailers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Apple. Consumers will receive a $6.93 credit for every purchased e-book that was a New York Times bestseller, and a $1.57 credit for other e-books. The credits can be used for "any product or service" offered by the retailer, unlike the previously paid publisher settlements, which restricted refund credits to book purchases. The settlement covers books that were purchased between April 1, 2010 and May 21, 2012.
As befits one more year of strident political discussion dominating public consciousness, political books sold well in the print sector in the first half of 2018. Macmillan, in particular, has seen its books perform well, with Michael Wolff’s tell-all Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House (Henry Holt) settling in as the year’s bestseller to date and James Comey’s A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership (Flatiron) making the #3 spot. Even political parodies did well: Chronicle Books’s crashed children’s title Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Presents a Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, written by Jill Twiss and illustrated by E.G. Keller, which details a fictional same-sex romance between U.S. Vice President Mike Pence’s pet rabbit and another rabbit named Wesley, came in at #6.
Otherwise, children’s literature and other adult nonfiction books dominated the top 10. A cookbook, Joanna Gaines’s Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering, was the #2 bestseller in the year so far, and nonfiction books by Jordan Peterson and Jen Sincero placed at #7 and #10, respectively. Children’s authors Madeleine L’Engle, Dav Pilkey, and Dr. Seuss all saw books in the top 10, too. The only adult fiction title to hit the list, at #9, was James Patterson’s collaboration with former president Bill Clinton, The President Is Missing. Even fiction, it seems, can’t escape the clutches of politics.