When “Sarah’s Key,” a novel about an American journalist investigating the 1942 roundup of Jews in Paris, was published in hardcover two years ago, it dropped with a thud. According to Nielsen BookScan, which tracks about 70 percent of sales, the book sold just 2,000 copies.
Indeed, the book, by the first-time novelist Tatiana de Rosnay, was well on its way to sinking out of sight last fall when Target, the discount retailer, chose the paperback version of “Sarah’s Key” as its Bookmarked Club Pick: a choice for a program that designates titles for prominent display throughout the chain’s stores. Suddenly sales exploded.
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