What's a bestseller?

News, trends, and the future of publishing
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steve
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What's a bestseller?

Post by steve » August 3rd, 2010, 11:19 am

What's a bestseller?

Is it a book that sells millions of copies, spawns movies, and video games?

Is it a book that sells well its first year and every year thereafter?

Is it a book sells 100,000 copies its first year but none five years later?

Is it a book that is ignored, goes out of print, gets rediscovered, and sells 25,000 copies a year for a hundred years?

Are bestsellers a publicity gimmick?

Why do we care about bestsellers?
Read one of the best stories by Borges.

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Mira
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Re: What's a bestseller?

Post by Mira » August 3rd, 2010, 12:42 pm

I vote for all of the above.

I think we care because a book that sells well - either over time or all at once - is a powerful piece of communication. Something that millions of people want to read is saying something of importance, whether positive or negative. It either speaks to current conditions in the culture, or to the human condition over time.

So, although I do think that the concept of 'bestseller' can be used as a publicity tool, I think it is much more than that.

Interesting topic.

Margo
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Re: What's a bestseller?

Post by Margo » August 3rd, 2010, 1:51 pm

Why do I care about bestsellers (as opposed to other books)? Research.
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Dakota388
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Re: What's a bestseller?

Post by Dakota388 » August 10th, 2010, 10:47 am

I don't think writers should worry about bestseller as much as success. Being a bestseller would indeed give a lot credibility to your future work but success is what keeps you working. I think success is measured by whether you make your publisher more money than they spend on you. If you are a famous athlete and the publisher gives you a $50,000 advance plus the cost of bringing a book out, success is if you are able to make them a profit. But being a bestseller is a good start. ;) Just my take.
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