SOURCE: Random House - Knopf

August 25, 2009 14:10 ET

Julia Child's 1961 Classic, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," Becomes National Number One Best Seller

"Julia's Kitchen Wisdom" Also Reaches Top Spot; Other Child Volumes Experience Spikes in Sales; Publisher Goes Back to Press Thirty-Nine Times for Over One Million Books to Meet Demand

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - August 25, 2009) - Julia Child's culinary classic, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," has become a #1 national best seller for the first time. The book, which was published nearly fifty years ago, will make its debut as a New York Times bestseller on Sunday, August 30 at #1 on the hardcover Advice, How-To and Miscellaneous list.

In an unprecedented posthumous publishing trifecta, "Mastering" will be joined by two of Child's other volumes: "Julia's Kitchen Wisdom," which will debut at #1 on the New York Times paperback Advice, How-To and Miscellaneous list, and "My Life in France," Julia Child's memoir, which appears at number #3 on the New York Times paperback Nonfiction list.

Backlist sales of Julia Child's books have exploded following the release of "Julie & Julia," the Columbia Pictures film, written and directed by Nora Ephron and starring Meryl Streep as the legendary chef. Sales for Child's books are so strong that the publisher has had to go back to press thirty-nine times in the past month, and they are racing to keep up with retail demand. "We are printing and shipping books as fast as we can," says Chris Gillespie, Sales Marketing Director, for Alfred A. Knopf, "but customers are buying them just as quickly." Knopf has reprinted over 1.2 million Julia Child books in the last month alone.

"Mastering the Art of French Cooking," which was originally published by Knopf in October 1961, launched Child's career and revolutionized the way Americans cook. It has now made an appearance on every major best seller list in the country. Currently, four Julia Child titles reside in the Top 50 on both Amazon and B&N.com, the online retailers.

In the film, Streep portrays Child when she was living in Paris with her husband, Paul, and follows her through the frustrations and eventual joy at seeing the publication of what would clearly become her undisputed masterpiece. The movie ends when Julia Child receives a package from her publisher containing the author's first copy of "Mastering the Art of French Cooking."

MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING by Julia Child
Publication Date: October 16, 1961
$40  684 pages  ISBN 978-0-375-41340-7

2009 reprints of Julia Child titles (all tied to the opening of "Julie &
Julia"):

MY LIFE IN FRANCE (trade paperback)
6 printings
90,000 copies total

MY LIFE IN FRANCE (mass market paperback)
2 printings
225,000 copies total

MY LIFE IN FRANCE (movie tie in paperback)
8 printings
350,000 copies total

FRENCH CHEF COOKBOOK (trade paperback)
2 printings
12,500 copies total

JULIA'S KITCHEN WISDOM (trade paperback)
6 printings
125,000 copies total

JULIA'S KITCHEN WISDOM (hardcover)
1 printing
5,000 copies total

MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING, VOLUME ONE (hardcover)
5 printings
356,000 copies total

MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING, VOLUME ONE (paperback)
3 printings
38,000 copies total

MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING, VOLUME TWO (hardcover)
2 printings
9,000 copies total

MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING, VOLUME TWO (paperback)
2 printings
40,000 copies total

THE WAY TO COOK (paperback)
1 printing
30,000 copies total

THE WAY TO COOK (hardcover)
1 printing
10,000 copies total

TOTAL:
6 books
12 editions
39 printings
1,290,500 copies total

Cover jpegs are available for all titles mentioned.