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Michael Hyatt on (Inaccurate) Bestseller Lists

ThomasnelsonMichael Hyatt, President and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, offers this perspective on "inaccurate" bestseller lists.  He's absolutely right, and it's somewhat related to the earlier post I made about the definition of "bestseller."

Michael had dropped out of the blogosphere for a few months earlier this year but he seems to be back with regular posts this month.  I'm glad to see it -- I always learn something new when I read his blog.


Michael A. Banks

I agree with Hyatt, even though I've made the New York Times' extended bestseller list (barely). At the same time, I feel that the Times list is a bit more than a a stand-back-and-squint measure of how well one might be doing.

I'm reminded of Jerry Pournelle's frequent quote (with reference to his and Larry Niven's Lucifer's Hammer): "Fourteen weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List will make a new man of you!"

Pournelle tossed that out for people to make of it what they might, but I know it he was speaking of more that simply money. It was also a comment about how serious an impact making a bestseller list (especially going to #2) can have on a career. Suddenly people in the business are taking you seriously along with, as Jerry likes to point out, offering bigger money.

It has a far greater effect on one's career than most awards. This is according to writers who've won the awards and made the bestseller lists.

Michael A. Banks

Then there's the standing question among genre fiction writers: "If romances were allowed on the bestseller lists, would there be anything else on the lists?"

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