One of the interesting things about the book industry is that you can never get a straight answer on just how many copies a book has sold. Amazon keeps its information to itself, and they control a large part of the market. Different lists are based on their own sources and criteria. No single bestseller list is completely accurate. But what if we combined the lists? Would that paint a clearer picture?
I’ve taken four of the most well-known bestseller lists — the New York Times, both Combined Print & E-Book Fiction and Combined Print & E-Book Nonfiction lists; USA Today; Publishers Weekly; and Amazon — and noted the overlap between them. I’ve only included books that showed up on multiple lists. Each of these has their own criteria (for example, the Amazon list updates hourly), but I hope that the combination gives some worthwhile information.
There’s nothing too surprising here if you pay close attention to the book world: Colleen Hoover’s reign over the bestseller list continues. (It Ends with Us wasn’t on the Amazon bestseller list, but the preorder of It Starts with Us, the sequel coming out October 18th, was #1.) This is also a very white list — in fact, unless I’m mistaken, there isn’t one author of color included, which is not exactly surprising, but is disappointing.
Books on 3 Bestseller Lists:
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (NYT #1, USA Today #1, Publishers Weekly #5)
It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover (NYT #5, USA Today #4, PW #2)
The Butcher and the Wren by Alaina Urquhart (NYT #6, USA Today #3, PW #1)
Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover (NYT #8, USA Today #8, PW #7)
I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy (NYT Nonfiction #1, USA Today #7, PW #6)
Find more news and stories of interest from the book world in Breaking in Books.