NEW YORK (AP) – The swine flu outbreak has boosted sales for an acclaimed history of the 1918 pandemic, and helped biologist Nathan Wolfe get a six-figure deal for a book about viruses.

As of Thursday afternoon, John M. Barry’s “The Great Influenza,” which came out five years ago, had climbed to No. 99 on Amazon.com’s best-seller list. Barry’s book tells of the 1918 pandemic that killed millions worldwide. A Barry work about the Mississippi flood of 1927, “Rising Tide,” became popular after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005.

Also Thursday, publisher Henry Holt said that it had acquired Wolfe’s “The Viral Storm,” a book about “how viruses and humans have evolved side by side over the millennia” and “how viruses have often had the upper hand in the relationship.”

A publishing official with knowledge of the negotiations said the deal was worth $300,000.

The official did not want to be identified because the official was not authorized to discuss the terms of the deal. A spokeswoman from Holt declined comment.


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