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March 23, 2007

News & Opinion: Everyone wants to be a bestseller.

By: 800-CEO-READ @ 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?