J.D. Salinger's Death Sparks e-Run on 'Catcher in the Rye'

It happens all the time: An author/musician/actor dies, and sales of his most famous book/album/film immediately go through the roof. In the case of J.D. Salinger's passing Thursday, we were able to quantify and track the "death effect" in real time thanks to the sales rank feature on Amazon.com and Barnesandnoble.com.
Reports that the 92-year-old writer had died hit the web around 1 p.m. Eastern time. At 1:15 p.m., the most popular paperback edition of Catcher in the Rye was ranked at No. 565 among all books on Amazon. Barnes & Noble had it at No. 826.

A little over two hours later, it had climbed to No. 202 on Amazon and 223 on Barnes & Noble. That sounds like a huge increase, but that far down the list, a relatively modest change in volume can produce a big jump in rankings.

But then the sales rush began in earnest. By 5:30 p.m., Catcher in the Rye had cracked the top 100 on Barnesandnoble.com and risen all the way to No. 23 on Amazon. The last time I checked, at 6:30, it was No. 13 on Amazon and No. 61 on Barnes & Noble.
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