As a columnist for Book Business Magazine, my latest article is entitled, “How to Kill a New York Times Bestseller.” Below is an excerpt with a link to the complete article. If you’re a publisher or a bestselling author, you will find this information both shocking and helpful.
If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it, did it really make a sound?
If a consumer doesn’t notice a book is a New York Times bestseller, is it really a bestseller?
Many people determine what book to buy based upon seeing the phrase, “New York Times Bestseller.” Industry experts agree that this status has a universally positive affect upon consumers. However, many publishers fail to capitalize on the long-term sales of their top-selling titles. Worse, some publishers kill their bestsellers by not clearly identifying them for shoppers to see. The result is a lot of lost book sales, especially when you multiply the problem over numerous titles for several years.
For example, click on the following links to Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Can you tell if the books displayed are New York Times bestsellers?
As you can see from these links, consumers would never know that both books hit the New York Times bestseller list. In fact, each title made the list over two years ago and stayed on the list for several months! The publisher killed these books’ bestseller status by failing to make this distinction apparent to shoppers.
How many sales were lost because customers weren’t aware of a book’s bestselling achievement? In addition, how should the authors feel when they realize people don’t know their books are legitimate bestsellers?
There are literally hundreds of bestselling books without correct identification or effective language on the retailer sales pages. I’ve seen more lost opportunities than I can count on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other major retail websites. What if these lost sales could be prevented?