"If the doctor told me I had six minutes to live, I'd type a little faster." --Isaac Asimov

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What makes a NYT bestseller?

I don't think anyone really knows. Books that have never made it onto the list that have outsold others that have. My own recent reading experience with NYT bestsellers has been decidedly mixed: the Hunger Games trilogy was outstanding, but I didn't make it past the first volume of Stieg Larsson's trilogy (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), which has spent 102 weeks on the trade paperback list to date.

I found an old post on a blog that I follow, which suggests that word of mouth has a lot to do with it. I believe another key ingredient is a publisher who's willing to put a lot of time, money, and effort into the book.

Unfortunately, that pretty much eliminates anything self-published. Then again, if self-publishing and e-books continue to change the industry at the rate they're doing now, will the NYT list even be relevant in a few years?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Terri said...

Oh! I loved the Steig Larrsson girl who series. But definitely not everyone's cup of tea. Agreed though about who makes the list and whether I enjoy the book or not.

kdoyle said...

I liked the story, but the writing had me skipping pages pretty often. Way too much info-dumping.

kdoyle said...

Interesting interview with Larsson's companion, in the NYT today: http://nyti.ms/if3qiI

Stratoz said...

seeing that a book made the NY Times list seems to do nothing for me. But I could see how it would be cool if I had written the book. ;')

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