Romance By Catherine: All Bestseller's Lists Are Not The Same

Friday, August 22, 2014

All Bestseller's Lists Are Not The Same

I’m always happy to see my books hitting the top of the bestseller lists. It’s a dream for every author to one day hit the New York Times, or the USA Today Bestseller’s List. 

With all the changes in publishing, you’d think these two standards in the industry would stay true to the delivery of the facts. After all, the New York Times and USA Today are both valid newspapers that have been known to dig through the emotion of the stories that need to be told in our country, and deliver only the facts.

So how is it that something as simple as a bestseller list has fallen through the cracks?

This week Taken by Tuesday debut on the Wall Street Journal Bestseller’s list at #7 in E-Book Fiction.  What does that mean? It means that according to the facts, the numbers of E-Books Taken by Tuesday has sold, this book has fallen between James Rollins, The 6th Extinction #6 on the WSJ List, and Gayle Forman’s, Where She Went #8 on the WSJ List.

Now, when I look at the NewYork Times, I see The 6th Extinction sitting at #4 on the E-Book Fiction List and Where She Went isn’t in the top 20.

For the sake of argument, I will look at the 10th Bestseller on the WSJ, to which I find, Not A Drill by Lee Child. That same book is sitting at #5 on the NYT’s list.

Taken by Tuesday isn’t on the NYT’s list…

Now let’s look at the USA Today Bestseller List.  There are 150 spots on this list. This list hasn’t been broken down into E-Book Fiction, or Children’s Fiction…or any of the other categories that the WSJ and the NYT’s have done. It’s simply the number of books sold in all formats in all genres within a given week. The 6th Extinction sits at #10 on the USAToday list and Where She Went sits at #13.

Taken by Tuesday isn’t on the USA Today’s list…

*scratches head* 

Now I know for a fact just how many E-Book copies of Taken by Tuesday were sold on its first week out because I’m the author, and that information is given to me by my publisher. I’m fairly certain that if James, Gayle, Lee and I were to sit down and compare notes…we’d all agree that Taken by Tuesday earned a spot on both the NYT’s and the USA Today’s Bestseller Lists.

So why isn’t Taken by Tuesday there? 

Politics.

According to the NYT’s * at the bottom of their methodology. “E-books available exclusively from a single vendor will be tracked at a future date.” This disclaimer has been at the bottom of this list for two years that I’ve been tracking it.

USA Today doesn’t even offer an explanation as to why my current title isn’t on their list.

You see, Montlake, my publisher, sells the digital copy of my work exclusively on the Kindle. In fact, every Amazon Publishing Imprint isn’t eligible to make the NYT’s E-book Bestseller list, simply because the NYT’s won’t accept the reporting number of sales from the publisher. When I asked USA Today the last time, about two years ago, about why my work isn’t making their list regardless of the tens of thousands of copies I sell within a week…their answer was vague and much like a politician running for office, meaningless.

My thought… I either did or didn’t sell more copies than #20 on the NYT’s List. I either did or didn’t sell more copies than #150 on the USA Today’s List. Are those not the facts? Isn’t the bestseller list a list of facts?

A bestseller list is just that…right? Amount of copies sold regardless of format or vendor? *sigh* 

While I would love to boast that I’ve once again hit the NYT’s and the USA Today’s Bestseller’s List… I am much more excited about reaching a list that is true to the meaning of a bestseller.

Thank you Wall Street Journal for making an unbiased list that simply reports the facts.

And thank you, dear readers, for anxiously waiting for my next book to release and picking it up the second it comes out.

I will patiently wait for the sands of time to catch up to the New York Times and USA Today, and look forward to applauding my fellow bestselling authors when they finally receive the recognition they so justly deserve.

8 comments:

Hallee Bridgeman said...

That's insane.

bookfanmary said...

I've given up on "the lists". I used to have faith in the NYTimes list but no more.
Now I'm headed to amazon to buy your book :)

Catherine Bybee said...

It is insane, Hallee.

Thanks for reading, Bookfanmary.

Erin Knightley said...

This truth was one of the many shocks I received when I became a writer and saw behind the curtain, so to speak. If you call your list a 'bestselling' book list, thennnn...hows about you list the bestsellers? I don't get massaging the data. Who sold the most books that week? Excellent, you're in the #1 spot. You sold the 3rd most amount of books? Congrats! You're #3. But I guess if the lists were all the same, they couldn't keep people guessing.

So sorry the distinction (such as it is) has passed you by for now, but hey, nothing will change the fact that you, my dear, are a bonafide rockstar!

Elizabeth Essex said...

Well said, my dear.

We shall let the facts speak for themselves. And in the meantime, offer you CONGRATULATIONS on a brilliant release.

Just keep writing these marvelous books!

Eliza March said...

After years of experienced living (that's my way of say being older) I've discovered it's all politics. Keep hammering away at the facts, keep them answerable!

Unknown said...

I like that EXPERIENCED LIVING!

Unknown said...

I'm not surprised at any corrupt bent way the NYTimes does anything. It writes news stories in a bogus way so the Way they are doing their book lists is no shocker. That paper is a joke! The NY TIMES has lost any respect it once had anyway .. That being said I do agree You need to hold them accountable to the FACTS! Numbers don't lie and you should get the recognition on all the book lists! Ah! Maybe one day someone with integrity will take over. Won't hold my breath! Keep bringing your fans your wonderful stories and we will keep picking them up!