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January 02, 2007

Publishing Elsewhere

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Blowhards --

* Michael Hyatt explains some of the reasons why all bestseller lists are inaccurate. I wrote about the ins and outs of bestseller lists myself back here. I'm pleased to see that Michael thinks, as I do, that the best of the bestseller lists is the one compiled by USA Today. If you want to see what America is really buying, go there, not to the NYTimes. Michael shows what an even better bestseller list might look like here. (Link thanks to Joe Wikert.)

* Richard Curtis -- not just one of the smartest agents I've ever met but one of the smartest people in publishing generally -- thinks that print-on-demand might save the publishing industry.

* Thanks to Ed Gorman for turning up this good North Coast Journal article by Jay Herzog about the super-resourceful Stark House Press. Let's hear it for publishers like Stark House. Jay Herzog, a very interesting guy, blogs here. Fun to see that Jay's as big a fan of Sister Rosetta Tharpe as I am.



posted by Michael at January 2, 2007


Amazon's bestsellers list sounds fine to me. It's updated hourly and includes all types of books - no fiction/nonfiction/children's/advice distinctions. I don't believe there are any particular types of books that are more or less likely to sell via Amazon vs. conventional outlets, at least nothing significant,* so the Amazon list should serve as a pretty decent proxy for book sales in general.

* = maybe coffee-table books would sell primarily in stores, but they're a minor exception.

Posted by: Peter on January 2, 2007 4:08 PM

Very interesting article by Richard Curtis.

Posted by: jult52 on January 2, 2007 5:10 PM

Gaaah! Of *course* you're a Sister Rosetta Tharpe fan.

Going to check out link now.

Posted by: communicatrix on January 2, 2007 8:59 PM

Thanks for the kind words Michael.

Posted by: J. Herzog on January 3, 2007 12:46 AM

I really can't understand why so many people in publishing expend so much energy either fretting over the imminent collapse of the publishing industry or enthusing over the latest wonder weapon that will stave off said collapse. I've been reading these articles and think pieces for years.

Richard Curtis is an agent. As long as books are bought and sold in some form and writers need agents, his job is secure.

As long as readers want to pay to read books, someone will publish and sell them.

Posted by: Peter L. Winkler on January 3, 2007 3:23 AM

Interesting post by Curtis, but who died and made him Kevin Siembeda? 30 bucks a year to post to his forums? Fuck that dude. Pyramid charges 20 dollars a year, and you get a weekly ezine along with the newsgroups.

Curtis, it's about the conversation, not how much money you get.

Posted by: Alan Kellogg on January 9, 2007 1:40 AM

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