For months, Colleen Hoover's millions of fans on TikTok, Instagram and elsewhere have been talking up and posting early excerpts from her novel "It Starts With Us."
By summer, the author's sequel to her bestselling "It Ends With Us" had already reached the Top 10 on Amazon.com. It might have climbed higher but for competition from other Hoover novels, including "Ugly Love," "Verity" and, of course, "It Ends With Us," the dramatic tale of a love triangle and a woman's endurance of domestic abuse that young TikTok users have embraced. They helped make Hoover the country's most popular fiction writer.
Hoover's extraordinary run on bestseller lists, from Amazon to The New York Times, has been Beatle-esque for much of 2022, with four or more books likely to appear in the Top 10 at a given moment. "It Starts With Us" had been so eagerly desired by her admirers — CoHorts, some call themselves — that she broke a personal rule: Don't let "outside influences" determine her next book.
"I never allowed myself to entertain a sequel, but with the amount of people emailing me every day and tagging me in an online petition to write about (those characters), their story began to build in my head in the same way my other books begin," she told The Associated Press in a recent email.
"Eventually I craved telling this story as much as I did my other stories, so I owe the readers a big thank you for the nudging," Hoover said.
Hoover's new book should help extend what has been another solid year for the industry. Booksellers are looking forward to a mix of commercial favorites such as Hoover, Anthony Horowitz, Beverly Jenkins and Veronica Roth alongside what Barnes & Noble CEO James Daunt calls a "really strong" lineup of literary releases.