June 8, 2006
News & Opinion: BookScanned
Daniel Gross wrote a piece last week in Slate on the Nielsen company BookScan. The article talks about how publishers and journalists use these numbers to make their cases. Publishers leak the numbers when there is a great story to tell. Journalists use the numbers when they can fortify a case for slashing and burning a book (and author).
I can tell you there is quite a preoccuption with Bookscan in the publishing community. Publishers use it to justify an author's second book. Buyers at the chains decide on what will get ordered and continue to get ordered.
Gross gives a good feel for the games that are played with these numbers.