Anxiety Ahoy: Amazon Now Ranks Author Popularity

What is the point of the best-seller list? Depends who you are. If you're a reader, it's a guide to what's popular — what's new, what your neighbors are buying, and what you might like to read next. If you're a publisher, it's a source of feedback and a sales tool: It tells you how your books compete, and gives you triumphs to crow about on paperback covers.

If you're an author, however, the best-seller list can feel awfully personal. It tells you how much the world values your work. It may be a sign of your economic future — say, whether you're going to be able to buy an apartment. It speaks to your professional future as well: whether your career is working out, and whether you're going to be able to sell your next book. And, unlike the private sales data reported to publishers or tracked by Nielsen through their BookScan service, the best-seller list lives in public. Your mom will see it; so will your high school nemesis. If your book makes the list, you can forever after be accurately described as a "best-selling author."

Full piece on NPR

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I tend to ignore best-sellers

I tend to ignore best-sellers lists. It's another way of judging books by their covers. And it's based a lot on chance. Say a bunch of people purchase a book and that bumps it up to a best-sellers list. Then suddenly everyone is buying the book. Not so much for it's content but because everyone else is doing it. Just some food for thought.

Token link love: Aromatherapy for Anxiety

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