Bob Young is a big John Grisham fan.
Young, the CEO of Lulu.com, notes on his blog that sales for the Raleigh company's self-published authors are up since it added more than 700,000 traditionally published books to its site in April. That includes books by Grisham, the wildly popular author of "The Firm" and other legal thrillers.
Young thanks Grisham on his blog, pointing out that new visitors seeking to buy books by mainstream authors also are discovering less-known writers and titles. Since adding the traditional titles, sales by Lulu authors are up 15 percent, and page views are up 25 percent, Young writes.
About half the people buying traditional books are new to Lulu, and 60 percent of those customers also bought a book by a Lulu author, Young writes.
"John Grisham sells tens of millions of copies of every book he writes," Young writes. "Seems only fair that he and his publisher, Random House, should be willing to share that success with all of the aspiring writers and next-generation publishers who are using Lulu to bring their knowledge, expertise and remarkable stories to the world."
There's no word whether Young offered to buy Grisham drinks or dinner when the lawyer-turned-novelist was in town last week. Grisham visited fifth graders at Raleigh's Combs Elementary School to discuss his new book, "Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer."
Read Young's blog post here.
Any increase in traffic and sales could bolster Lulu's fortunes, and allow Young to revive plans for an initial public offering of stock. Those plans were postponed in April because of lackluster investor interest.