SOURCE: The Elf on the Shelf

The Elf on the Shelf

December 02, 2009 18:18 ET

'The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition®' Hits No. 1 on Barnes & Noble Bestsellers List

ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwire - December 2, 2009) - "The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition®," a holiday book and tradition that shares Santa's secret of how he really knows who's been naughty or nice, today became one of the only self-published children's books ever to become No. 1 on the Barnes & Noble online Bestsellers List. The book is the first offering from publisher CCA and B, the Atlanta-based family publishing company owned and operated by the authors' family. It is currently No. 1 ahead of "U is for Undertow" by Sue Grafton, "The Twilight Saga Collection" by Stephenie Meyer, and "Going Rogue" by Sarah Palin.

The Barnes & Noble list is based on online sales volume. It is estimated that 200,000 new books are published each year in the United States and less than 1 percent achieve bestseller status*. The nation's 10 largest publishers publish nearly 98 percent of all United States bestsellers*, making self-published bestsellers a rarity in the publishing world.

First sold at Junior League holiday events, "The Elf on the Shelf" has skyrocketed in popularity and sales since its introduction in Atlanta in 2005. Written by Carol Aebersold and Chanda Bell, two mothers and former educators, "The Elf on the Shelf" is a hardbound children's book that comes beautifully packaged with its own elf in a keepsake box (available for $29.95). Achieving the No. 1 online sales rank at Barnes & Noble, as well as the No. 5 ranking on, is a testament to the book's charm and ability to create a wholesome family tradition which can last for generations.

About "The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition®"

"The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition®" was written by Carol Aebersold and her daughter Chanda Bell, both former teachers. Illustrated by award-winning illustrator Coë Steinwart, the book answers the age-old question, "How does Santa really know who's been naughty or nice?" "The Elf on the Shelf" is based on an old tradition Aebersold began with her children when they were young. Here's how it works: Sometime during the holiday season, Santa sends a scout elf to each home to watch over the children's behavior. The elf gets its Christmas magic when the family gives it a name of its own. Each night, after the children are safely tucked into bed, the elf flies to the North Pole where it reports to Santa who has been nice or naughty that day. Before the children awaken, the elf has returned to their home but is observing them from a new post in the house. The children race out of bed to discover the elf's new location. There is one important rule: children should not touch the elf or it might lose its magic and jeopardize any good reports the elf may have planned to give to Santa. For more information, visit

*Source: Maryles, Daisy. "Bestsellers by the Numbers," Publishers Weekly, 9-Jan-2006.

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