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March 23, 2007

News & Opinion: Everyone wants to be a bestseller.

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 8:01 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

What does it mean to be a best-selling author? Like everything else, there are various definitions. This particular WSJ article is speaking of the online bestseller lists like those of Amazon and Barnes and Noble. To get on the top of these lists, you can buy placement (for around $10 - 15 grand) in an email called the "Best-seller Blast" that is sent out by big-time authors.
What's interesting is the fluctation of these lists.
Outside the top 1% or so of books, few sell multiple copies a day, so little separates books with rankings tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands, apart. Morris Rosenthal, an author and publisher based in Springfield, Mass., who has studied the Amazon charts, says a day without a sale can send a book ranked 10,000 to as low as 50,000.

Fittingly, the WSJ's question of the day is, What influences your book choices? I'd follow up with the question: if it's a bestseller list, what makes for a good list?

About Dylan Schleicher


Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.