John Grisham: E-books will be half of my sales

Best-selling author John Grisham in the "CBS This Morning" studio
CBS News

(CBS News) How does an author who has sold 275 million books worldwide feel about the arrival of e-books?

John Grisham, the man who brought us "A Time to Kill," "The Pelican Brief," and "The Firm," is a big fan. He said they are good for publishers, authors and readers. He still loves bound books and doesn't think they'll be going away anytime soon. But he is concerned about the fate of bookstores.

"We're always going to have books," he said. "Getting hurt in all of this is bookstores. We're losing bookstores like crazy. Book sales are down overall because we lost 800 stores last year with Borders. We've lost 2,000 stores in the last 15 years."

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Grisham, who just published his 26th novel, said he expects half of the sales to be digital - a number he calls "astonishing."

Best known for his nail-biting legal thrillers, the action in Grisham's newest book leaves the courtroom behind. "Calico Joe" is a vehicle for the best-selling author to explore one of his greatest passions: baseball.

"I wanted to write a baseball novel for a long time - my favorite sport," he said. "My childhood sport. I coached my son in little league. I played in high school. Had big dreams and small talent - didn't get very far."

Best described as fable about hope, forgiveness and redemption, the novel begins in 1973 with a baseball player, Joe Calico, whose career in the big leagues is ended abruptly when he gets beanballed - hit in the head with a ball.

"It stops his career," Grisham said. "It ruins the career of the guy that threw the pitch. And in the middle is a little boy, 11 years old, who is the son of the pitcher. He idolizes Joe. It's how it transforms all three lives and the lives of a lot of little boys that summer."

Is "Calico Joe" heading for the big screen, like so many of Grisham's other books?

While he has not sold the film rights yet, he said there is a lot of interest.

"Calico Joe" is published by Knopf Doubleday and for sale in bookstores and online.