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Seinfeld_Defamation_Articles - How Another Seinfeld Scored...

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OCTOBER 19, 2007 How Another Seinfeld Scored Her Own Big Hit Cookbook by Comic's Wife Soars After Oprah Interview; Could It Be a Million-Seller? By JEFFREY A. TRACHTENBERG HarperCollins Publishers was sure Jessica Seinfeld's new cookbook for feeding kids healthily would be a success: It initially printed 200,000 copies and then added another 140,000 in reserve before its Oct. 5 publication date. It wasn't nearly enough. Ever since Ms. Seinfeld, the wife of comedian Jerry Seinfeld, appeared on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" on Oct. 8, demand has far outstripped supply. Amazon.com is telling its customers they will have to wait three to six weeks to get a copy of Ms. Seinfeld's book, "Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food." Altogether, the publisher says it has ordered 2.3 million copies, and expects to sell at least one million by Christmas. With the unexpected success has come some unexpected controversy. The book's popularity has prompted the author of another children's nutrition book to note similarities between the two titles, even as sales of her book are being lifted by Ms. Seinfeld's fame. Collins, the division of HarperCollins that published Ms. Seinfeld's book, is repudiating the complaint. Its biggest fear is that it may be losing sales with Ms. Seinfeld's book unavailable at many stores. "It's a nightmare scenario you never want to wake up from: Demand that is so intense, sales velocity so high, that you are hard-pressed to keep up," says Steve Ross, president of the Collins division. "We're going to have a lag time of two to three weeks because we don't have enough books." Ms. Seinfeld's book is No. 1 today on the Wall Street Journal's nonfiction best-seller list. It will also be No. 1 on the hardcover advice list published in the New York Times Book Review section dated Oct. 28. Mr. Ross says he thinks that Ms. Seinfeld's book may also slip a slot or two down the Times list because of the continuing shortage.
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The book has been No. 1 on Amazon.com's best-seller list, but that could also change because Amazon can't get enough books to keep pace with orders. A spokeswoman said the online bookseller is working to get more books as soon as possible. Some Barnes & Noble stores are out of copies as well. "Even the big chains are out of it," said Alan Zumel, a salesman at The Cook's Library, a Los Angeles bookstore specializing in cookbooks. The premise of Ms. Seinfeld's book is that meals kids enjoy, such as lasagna, tacos and pita pizzas, can be tweaked to be more nutritious. She sneaks carrot and spinach purees into a recipe for brownies, while a recipe for chicken alphabet soup includes cauliflower puree. In her introduction, Ms. Seinfeld notes: "This book is nothing more than one mom's coping skills." During Ms. Seinfeld's appearance on Ms. Winfrey's talk show, the host praised the book and snacked on some of Ms. Seinfeld's recipes before sharing them with her audience. "After Oprah, requests began pouring in from customers at the stores and online," says Liz Harwell, director of merchandising for Barnes & Noble Inc., the nation's largest book retailer.
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