Wednesday, July 23, 2008 – 11:13 p.m. CT

Following is a press release about the early success of Jim Tressel’s The Winners Manual: For the Game of Life. We should find out later today if the book will be on the New York Times bestsellers list on Sunday, August 3.


Long lines, rabid fans make book signings “overwhelming”

Carol Stream, Ill. – Can Tyndale House Publishers catch lightning in a bottle yet again? Almost one year to the day that it released Tony Dungy’s eventual #1 New York Times best seller Quiet Strength, Tyndale has published a book that has produced nearly an identical first-week retail sales performance. The Winners Manual: For the Game of Life, by Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel with Chris Fabry, released Tuesday, July 15 and sold nearly 20,000 copies in its first week of sales. With nearly 9,000 books signed by Tressel during eight book signings last week, the turnout and sales totals are nearly identical to the Dungy book signings that garnered national media attention last summer.

“Like Tony Dungy last year, and now with Tressel, it’s overwhelming to see such huge lines and enormous unit sales at signing stores,” says Ron Beers, Senior VP and Group Publisher. “We knew Jim Tressel was well-known and respected as a football coach,” Beers continues, “but we didn’t realize the extent of that respect for the coach in all leadership circles both in Ohio and around the country.”

With final sales totals for the week still yet to be tallied, The Winners Manual trails only Let’s Roll! (August, 2002), by Lisa Beamer with Ken Abraham, in first-week consumer sales for a hardcover, nonfiction title published by Tyndale. Tressel is contributing his profits from The Winners Manual to the William Oxley Thompson Memorial Library Renovation Fund on the Ohio State University campus in Columbus.

Much of the early success of The Winners Manual can certainly be credited to Tressel, who committed nearly a week of his time to the promotion of the book, including personally appearing at eight book signings, as well as conducting more than 75 book-related interviews last week alone. The publicity and book-signing tour began with a press conference at the Les Wexner Football Complex on the OSU campus on Monday, July 14. More than 40 members of the media from throughout Ohio attended the press conference.

On Tuesday, July 15, the first date that the book was available in stores, Tressel traveled to the ESPN studios in Bristol, Conn., for a full day of interviews on a variety of media platforms. Following his day in Bristol, Tressel held a book signing at Bookends in Ridgewood, N.J. Bookends sold more than 400 copies of The Winners Manual at the signing. For a store known for high-profile signings, the event was one of the its most successful signings of the year.

Walter Boyer, owner of Bookends, said, “This book-signing event certainly demonstrated the reach and popularity of Ohio State. We expected a good crowd, but not this big. On the same day the book went on sale, Jim patiently signed 400 books (and bookplates, as we sold out of books) for those in attendance. He met with each customer, posed for pictures, and even signed items for the New Jersey and Philadelphia area OSU alumni clubs. Everyone was a ‘winner’ today.”

While The Winners Manual was garnering a great deal of attention following Coach Tressel’s visit to ESPN, the book began rapidly ascending the online retail sites such as Amazon and Barnes &, reaching as high as the top 15 on the B&N ranking and the top 25 on Amazon.

On Wednesday, July 16, Tressel conducted three book signings throughout the Columbus area and signed approximately 3,000 books. Tressel began the day at a Kroger supermarket on Chambers Road in Columbus. While the store ran out of books, Tressel signed 500 copies of The Winners Manual. Later that afternoon he signed more than 1,200 books at a Lifeway Christian Store in suburban Dublin, and then more than 1,300 later that evening at the Barnes & Noble bookstore on the OSU campus.

Following the Columbus-area signings, Coach Tressel drove to eastern Ohio for three additional signings on Thursday, July 17. He signed more than 3,700 books that day. He signed more than 1,300 copies at a Barnes & Noble in Youngstown, Ohio, more than 1,200 copies at a Berean bookstore in Copley, Ohio, and more than 1,200 at a Borders in Westlake, Ohio.

“Having Coach Tressel in our store was a tremendous honor for both our customers and staff,” said Sue Makuh, Manager, Copley Berean Christian Stores. “Coach Tressel is greatly admired in this community, and that was evident by the response we received during the signing. It was amazing to see how kind he was with each person who was here. Our staff worked hard to create a wonderful experience for our customers and Coach Tressel, and we were truly thankful to have the opportunity to welcome him to Berean.”

After a day off the tour on Friday, July 17, Coach Tressel made himself available for a three-hour signing at a Barnes & Noble in Pickerington, Ohio, in suburban Columbus on Saturday, July 18. He signed more than 1,500 copies in Pickerington.

More information about The Winners Manual is available at

In addition to the success of Tressel’s The Winners Manual and Dungy’s Quiet Strength, Tyndale House Publishers recently had another football-related hit on its hands with Deanna Favre’s Don’t Bet Against Me! The memoir by Favre, wife of Green Bay Packers great Brett Favre, spent 10 consecutive weeks on either the New York Times hardcover nonfiction primary list (top 15) or expanded list (top 35). It is now in its eighth printing, with more than 200,000 copies in print.

Tyndale House Publishers was founded in 1962 by Dr. Kenneth N. Taylor as a means of publishing The Living Bible. It is now one of the premier publishing houses in the industry. Tyndale products include numerous New York Times best sellers, including the popular Left Behind series. Tyndale also publishes the New Living Translation Bible and many other resources for church and family. Tyndale House Publishers is located in Carol Stream, Illinois, a western suburb of Chicago.