Compiling Bestseller Lists

One would expect bestseller lists to be compiled open and honestly, right? That if a book sells enough copies to land on a bestseller list, it should be on the list. Turns out that’s not the case.

The first problem is that bestseller lists use different metrics to compile their lists. It’s not much different from radio airplay charts. Everyone knows Billboard reigns supreme, but there are other organizations that release their own lists each week. One example is a countdown of the top country songs that plays on my local country station every Sunday. The list is not from Billboard.

Book bestseller lists seem to carry a ton of weight with authors, publishers, and readers. But these lists aren’t the same. I understand why an author or publisher would speak out publicly if a book is within a list’s top 5 beselling books, but doesn’t even make the list. In the same breath I won’t say any publication has a duty to include the actual beselling books on any bestselling list, but doesn’t it seem disingenuous if they don’t?

Do you think bestseller lists should display the bestselling books of the period or should they be compiled using whatever metrics the publication chooses to use?

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On Reading Bestsellers

Have you ever met someone who only read bestsellers? Or perhaps someone who refuses to do so. I believe I’ve interacted with people on both sides of the question. And neither position makes any sense whatsoever to me.

Let’s start with person #1. Only reads bestsellers. Which means they likely spend more on each book than the rest of us. And they read a pretty small number of authors. Doesn’t really matter to me, but I think they’d quickly adopt the mindset that the books and authors they read are inherently better than everything else. I mean, obviously they’re bestsellers for a reason. Which is downright ridiculous. We all know that sales numbers don’t really reflect the quality of the book. There are some extraordinary books appearing on bestseller lists and not.

Now on to person #2. Doesn’t read bestsellers. They’ve essentially taken the notion that bestsellers aren’t very good books to a whole new level. We know not ALL bestsellers are good books. We get it. But to say that no bestseller is a good book (or to think it) is pretty outrageous. Sorry, Mrs. Rowling. Your books suck. It’s easy to toss around names like E.L. James or Stephenie Meyer as prime examples of this, but shall we start throwing in Stephen King and Margaret Atwood too? No. Of course not.

Both positions are going way too far in their positions. If you want to read bestsellers, then read them. If you don’t, then don’t. But don’t sit there and act like whatever you read is somehow better than EVERYTHING else out there. It isn’t.

What’s your take on reading bestsellers?

PS: I’m not even going to apologize anymore for my sporadic posting times. I can’t do anything about it. I’ll be replying to LOTS of comments when I have time later tonight.


On this day in 2014 I published Publishers Giving Away Books?.

 

 

World’s Ten Bestselling Authors Since 2001

Photo Credit: The Telegraph

I first saw this story tweeted a few days ago. I tried to guess who would top the list before clicking through. My guess was JK Rowling. It took about half a second for me to come up with her. Even though so many authors have written more books during that time period than she has, I thought Mr. Potter and friends would be enough to catapult her to the top. I won’t tell you if I was right or not. You’ll just have to continue reading!

10. Jeff Kinney

Now you may not know him by name, I do, but he’s the author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series. I’ve never read any of these, though the first in the series is on the Amazon list so I’ll be reading that one at some point. It’s very understandable that one of the bestselling children’s authors today would make the list.

9. Janet Evanovich

Another author that is understandably on the list. Her Stephanie Plum novels are as popular as any. Another author I haven’t read.

8. Nicholas Sparks

All of this guy’s books are seemingly made into movies. So obviously he’s selling A LOT of books, right? Haven’t read him.

7. Dan Brown

Honest question, what does he even write about? I know everything with his name on it becomes an instant bestseller, but I have no idea what his books are about. The Da Vinci Code and Inferno are the two that I know the names of. I just did a quick Amazon search and his books look like nothing I would be interested in. Author number four I haven’t read.

6. Stephenie Meyer

I just threw up in my mouth. I’m not going to say anything other than that I haven’t read any of her ‘books.’

5. John Grisham

Hey look, we have the same name. And last initial! I haven’t read any of his books, BUT I have A Time to Kill on my shelf waiting for my reading pleasure. It’s long. Like really long. I’ll read it eventually.

4. Dr. Seuss

No commentary needed. First author I’ve actually read on the list.

3. Nora Roberts

I know she writes A LOT of books but I haven’t read any. I’m sure they’re quite good.

2. JK Rowling

UH OH. Who the heck could pull the upset?! Think! Think! Think! Read the first book of Potter. Thoroughly enjoyed it. I was slightly surprised by her not holding down the top spot. All of these authors are great, all of them, but she’s one of those authors who will be remembered a hundred or two hundred years from now. Harry Potter will never be forgotten. I guess we can only continue on to the final name on the list.

1. James Patterson

Ahhhh of course. I was surprised by Patterson taking the top spot, but I wasn’t shocked by this. If you aren’t a fan of Patterson’s, you should know that he has several series ongoing. He utilizes the writing of ghostwriters whom he credits as co-authors and every one of the series is a bestseller. Every one. He has six of them. And standalone novels. He has nine books scheduled to be released in 2014.

Photo Credit: In Other Newz

So there you have the list of the world’s bestselling authors since 2001. Were you surprised by any of the names on the list? Or any of the names who didn’t make the cut? Let me know!

Read the original article here.