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Do Bestseller Lists Matter and If So, Which Ones?

Which Bestseller List Matters Most?

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A question raised by Esi Sogah, editorial assistant at Avon, last night on Twitter was whether Bestseller lists matter on the cover of books and which ones. Extended beyond that would be what bestseller lists are most useful in making purchasing decisions. I do look at bestseller lists at etailers like Amazon and Fictionwise and Samhain to help make purchasing decisions. I don’t believe that the label on the book has influenced me, but perhaps it has.

One thing about bestseller lists, particularly like the NY Times, is that they aren’t based on actual sales, but projections and calculations and other mysterious woo woo guarded tightly by these bestseller list owners. The lists can be deceptive. Take, for example, Susan Andersen’s recent release, Bending the Rules, which made the NYT list (No. 14) and PW list (peaked at 12). According to her July 29, 2009, newsletter, Harlequin is axing the series, refusing to publish the third in the trilogy and Andersen will be starting with a new stand alone.

I tend to believe that the Amazon, Fictionwise bestseller lists are based on actual units sold and thus more accurate. I could be totally wrong.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

49 Comments

  1. Larissa
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 13:11:10

    An agent once told me that one thing an author never wanted was to hit the NYT without making the USA Today…because the USAT reflects ACTUAL reader purchases, but NYT reflects purchases made by booksellers.

    So hitting the NYT w/out hitting USA Today basically means that bookstores bought you, but readers didn’t…and that means a lot of returns and loss.

    That said, I haven’t paid much attention to see if it’s true or not…but so much of this business is a mystery!

  2. vanessa jaye
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 13:13:13

    I was going to say that as a reader, bestseller lists don’t influence *my* book buying. But if I walk into a store and they have all the bestsellers lined up on the wall/table near the door, I’ll check them out.

    Still, that’s more about placement/visibility & convenience, than designation or a quality judgment. So I guess the answer is still: makes no difference *for me*.

    I certainly know it means a helluva lot to publishers/authors/agents and certain readers/reviewers.

  3. ASable
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 13:13:41

    I was not aware of the mysterious “woo woo” used in the NY Times bestseller lists. Any relations to the “magic hoo hoo”?

  4. Sarah
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 13:19:02

    I voted for Amazon, but I also fall into the “they don’t really matter” category. I’m more likely to take a look, but it doesn’t guarantee a buy. If reviews make up 60% of my decision-making process, then lists would make… 5%? 10%? Like I said I’ll look, but that’s all it guarantees.

    Hmm, Larissa, I never thought of it that way, it’s basically like saying instead of quietly underperforming, an author spectacularly disappointed?

    Also, I bought that book. Wasn’t pleased but…I bought it! They had it at BJs and I wanted a book RIGHT THEN.

  5. Diana
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 13:23:47

    I might be wrong about this, but I was under the impression that the Amazon list was real-time rank – meaning that if you check your rank at 3:15 a.m., you could have a totally different rank at 10 a.m. A writer friend of mine watched her sales rank go from something like 567,532 to 234,678 and then back to 436,325 in a matter of hours, based on a the purchase of a handful of books.

  6. library addict
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 13:34:24

    I have occasionally checked out a book from the NYT list from the library and have been introduced to new authors that way. But for the most part I don't pay much attention to the various lists.

    The Amazon list may be more accurate, but I don't usually buy books on Amazon. And despite the fact I have always received good customer service from Amazon on DVD and CD purchases, I don't think I would necessarily believe their list because of all their PR disasters in the past. I'm cynical like that :P

  7. Rosemary Laurey
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 13:36:49

    @ Diana
    I think you are absolutely right… Some years back I was told that amazon rankings measure clicks on the page. I found that a little amazing but decided to see if it might be so. At the time I had a small press book out. By dint of clicking on the page every five or ten minutes for a couple of hours or so, I managed – for a few minutes- to get it up into five digits… didn’t last . Not sure if they use the same system these days but a few years back it was easy to manipulate.

    Always wish I’d printed out that page…

  8. Bev
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 13:44:37

    On the cover of a book, nothing matters. I’ve been told quotes from NYT authors matter to booksellers, but as a reader, they mean nothing to me. Author recognition, cover and blurb or/and reviews. Those are the things that sway me to buy a book. My autobuy author list is first. Recommendations from trusted sources is second. If I’ve never heard of the author and can get past the cover, I’ll read the blurb. Certain plotlines will hook me every time. I have simple tastes and simple needs. Great writing and a great plot will win me over every time.

  9. Karen Templeton
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 13:46:39

    Amazon rankings mean squat to anyone except Amazon. Maybe. Unless you’re JK Rowling or Stephanie Meyer or that ilk. Then, yeah, if the book is in the top 10 Bestsellers, it’s safe to say it’s doing pretty well.

    For the rest of us peasants, not so much.

    The rankings are based far more on how fast the books sell in any given time frame than on how many books sell…so somebody who gets ten buddies to buy his book within an hour is going to see a dramatic dip in that ranking number, but only for a short while. By the following day, if there aren’t any more sales, that number will be way up there again.

    For series (category) romance writers, they mean even less. For instance, my new book has swung from the mid-50K mark up to more than a million, and back again within the space of a few days. Within a couple hours it can read as the 6th bestselling Special Edition to the 60th. And of course, that’s ONLY Amazon sales — the vast majority of my sales are in brick-and-mortar stores (coughWalmartcough). So those rankings don’t reflect in the least my true numbers.

    Also the older a book is, the less accurate the rankings are, since Amazon doesn’t take sales history of a title into consideration at all.

    (And yes, obviously if I hadn’t checked my rankings 5,870,241 times today I couldn’t have shared that info with you. So sad when logic and OCD collide. ;-))

    ETA: No, clicks on the page don’t count, or my rank would always be a lot higher than it is.

  10. SonomaLass
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 13:52:02

    I think I am influenced by bestseller lists second hand. Those books get more exposure, and I am therefore more likely to consider buying them. Same goes for displays at Borders and related recommendations from Amazon — anything that brings a book to my attention increases the odds that I’ll buy it over a book that I don’t hear about somehow. However, in romance and sci-fi/fantasy, I’m much more likely to be influenced by a positive mention of a book on someone’s blog or a review site, since I read several of those in my favorite genres.

  11. cecilia
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 13:54:06

    I don’t care about the bestseller rankings at all, whatever the source. I used to work in a bookstore, so I knew that our “bestseller” wall was based on what bookstores were purchasing, not what individuals were buying, which definitely influenced my perception of those rankings’ validity/usefulness.

    What does influence me greatly is the Amazon “recommended for you” lists. There are dozens of books I’ve tried because of that thing, which in the ordinary course of events would not have come to my attention.

  12. Jennifer Estep
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 14:16:37

    Lists don’t mean much to me as a reader, although I do look at the ranking when I’m buying something on Amazon just to see what the number might be.

    As an author, though, yeah, I want to hit the lists. If only so my grandma can brag about how I’m a best-selling author. :-)

  13. Kalen Hughes
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 14:23:39

    I was going to say that as a reader, bestseller lists don't influence *my* book buying. But if I walk into a store and they have all the bestsellers lined up on the wall/table near the door, I'll check them out.

    Much like with the “Oprah seal”, I tend to find myself avoiding books that are on lists . . . maybe it’s the contrarian in me. *shrug*

    I think it’s important to authors and their publishers (sometimes bonuses are built in to hitting lists). And one would hope that hitting them means sales are good, though the Susan Andersen example you give makes me doubt even that value.

    Don't get me wrong: I'm thrilled when my friends hit them, and I'd be over the moon to hit them myself.

  14. Tammy
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 14:31:14

    Bestseller lists do not impact my buying decisions in the slightest.

  15. Jennifer McKenzie
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 14:33:00

    There’s one you didn’t mention (but maybe you were only talking print) but a best seller at Fictionwise has an advantage.
    When I want an Erotic romance, I click on Erotica and I get the best seller list. The top 25 usually get my scrutiny.
    I’ve bought a few that way so I guess that “best seller” list influences my purchases the most.

  16. Sandy James
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 14:34:13

    @ Tammy

    Bestseller lists do not impact my buying decisions in the slightest.

    I agree totally! But, damn, I want my books on those lists someday! :-)

  17. Michelle
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 14:38:36

    I’m sure I’ve been influenced to buy a book because of its bestselling status – if nothing else, it helped to bring it to my attention, build buzz, etc. I first heard of Harry Potter and the Twilight Series because they dominated the NYT list. I’ve bought other “hot books of the moment” as well because of the buzz and my need to see what it’s all about.

    I’ve always heard that the USA Today list is the closest to reflecting actual sales – though I’ve also heard that it may not track Wallmart purchases, which would mean it misses a big market.

    It does seem like the NYT list is still the most prestigious. East coast/NYC bias?

  18. Joyce D
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 14:38:39

    My answer to the poll pertains not to whether the list makes a difference in *my* purchasing decisions, but in general, for, say, Nancy Random-Book-Buyer.

    IOW, I’m not sure I fall into the general book buyer category. But I’m guessing that it does make a difference to people who maybe don’t buy as many books as I do, or who aren’t “plugged-in” so to speak, to the industry.

    So to the general public, I’m guessing, yeah, the NYT best-seller banner on a book is going to swing the average buyer and moreso than the USAT or any other list.

    But I’m thinking that the people who hang here at DA are probably NOT average book buyers.

  19. joanne
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 14:53:42

    Hummmmmph. (I just finished the new Stephanie Laurens book so I’ll be hummmping — so to speak — until the prose wears off.)

    It’s nice — really nice — to see Romance Authors with their names attached to the NYT’s bestseller list. It means that many of the book reviewers at the NYTs will be pissed off, which makes me wildly happy and that (some) romance authors are getting (some) of the recognition that is due them.

    But the lists don’t influence my purchases especially on Samhain and Ellora’s Cave because what may be the most popular isn’t necessarily the sub-genre that I’m looking for on those sites.

  20. Randi
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 14:59:07

    I pay absolutely no attention to best selling lists. Putting a best selling blurb on a book is not going to sway my decision to buy.

    I have auto-buy authors but a lot of my exposure to unknown authors comes from recommendations from folks here, at SB, at KNB; and like cecilia, I often find new stuff from Amazon’s recommendations.

  21. Sue T
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 15:03:23

    @Bev! You’re the sister of my soul! I agree with you completely.

    On the cover of a book, nothing matters. I've been told quotes from NYT authors matter to booksellers, but as a reader, they mean nothing to me. Author recognition, cover and blurb or/and reviews. Those are the things that sway me to buy a book… If I've never heard of the author and can get past the cover, I'll read the blurb. Certain plotlines will hook me every time. I have simple tastes and simple needs.

    Quotes from authors – what are they going to do – put it sucks? Doubt it. So, I’m sorry, love Nora Roberts but am not going to pick up a book just because she recommends it. I want the blurb and story plot to sway me.

    And every time (well, except for Harry Potter) I pick up a book based on some list or the one everyone is raving about, I get burned. JR Ward for example. I totally cannot get into her stories. I’ve tried. Over and over again but her heroes truly get under my skin and not in a good way.

    Jane – are you sharing this poll to Esi? I’d love to know what her reaction is.

  22. Jane
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 15:13:40

    @SueT – Esi said she would be watching the poll results and mulling them over. I think she got a variety of responses on Twitter.

  23. Evangeline
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 15:36:55

    I care for best-seller lists when it’s a book I read and loved. Otherwise, when I see “XXXX best-seller” on the cover, it doesn’t sway me. If I’ve never heard of the author and it’s a genre I like to read, I may take a look at the blurb to see who they are and what they write, but mostly, I’m not swayed by a book hitting the lists because I’ve already tried the author and wasn’t moved by their writing.

    My biggest peeve with “XXXX best-seller” slapped on covers is when a book hits the list, yet the author’s subsequent books don’t, but that “XXXX best-seller” phrase is still there. Granted, it’s all about marketing and sales, and I’m happy for the author if it works to keep them published, but as an outsider I find that just as misleading as author quotes that don’t say anything about the author’s writing (“Author X writes an amazing paranormal romance!” ~ Big Name Paranormal Romance Author).

  24. Meljean
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 15:51:02

    The biggest effect it has on my buying habits is simply distribution: bestselling authors are more likely to make it to the grocery store racks, which is where I do a lot of impulse buying. They also are prominently displayed as soon as I walk into a bookstore, so I’ll browse through them before heading back to the romance section (where I might overlook a title that is spine-out on the shelves or that didn’t get a good spot in the new releases section). And in Target (and I imagine Wal-mart, if I had one nearby to check) they carry bestselling authors and category romance. I don’t see too many debut or low-midlist authors there.

    It doesn’t make too much of a difference for my online buying, however, simply because that browsing aspect isn’t there. Online buying is all about what I’ve heard mentioned on blogs and review sites, not whether it’s in the store.

  25. Maili
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 16:18:28

    Bestseller lists, celebrity endorsements, author quotes on covers and this tag “bestselling author” mean absolutely zero to me, online and in real life.

    I must admit that when an author repeatedly announces that she or he’s made it to, say, the NYT list or starts attaching the tag “best-selling author” to her or his name in a newsletter or similar, it’s almost a turn-off. I don’t know why, though.

  26. Mischa
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 17:13:36

    The only time any best seller list matters to me is when the retailer offers those books at a sale price. If there are two books I want and one is on the best seller list, I’ll buy that one because it’s on sale.

  27. Elizabeth
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 17:52:06

    Since I have been buying 95% of my books on Fictionwise in recent years, I am definitely influenced by their ranking, at least when I browse in an area.

  28. Diana
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 17:52:31

    Speaking as a library assistant, I will say that getting in the top 20 on the in-print bestsellers lists will guarantee your book will be purchased for most public library collections, even if the book was not something that initially caught the eye of those doing collection development. At our library, one of our staff members is assigned to make sure every book on the top 20 on NYT, Pub Weekly, and USA Today lists have been purchased.

  29. Jane O
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 18:40:02

    Matters to whom?

    To libraries, probably.

    To publishers, certainly.

    To me? I don’t even notice.

  30. Aemelia
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 18:57:22

    Honestly, I never pay attention to the best seller lists. I go strickly on the blurb on back, reviews and recs from friends.

  31. DS
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 19:33:17

    Oh, I used to be such a NYT bestseller list snob. Books that make bestseller lists will never make mine. Even when I’m not being snobbish, I buy very few best selling books and it’s never because the book made a specific list. I do tend to look at books that show up in my Amazon recommendations and buy from the books recommended there frequently– this is one Amazon feature that has consistently improved over the years. There’s been an occasional clunker, but not a real wall banger in ages.

    I only read USA Today when a hotel gives me a free copy and I don’t pay much attention to retailer lists.

  32. Jess
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 20:02:10

    As has been said, lists influence me only in their higher visibility and distribution. But ultimately, the lists don’t affect me. I may pick up the book to see what the fuss is about, but that doesn’t guarantee I’ll BUY it. I always begin reading in the store. If I don’t get at least 30p in (or know sooner than that that I SIMPLY MUST HAVE IT), I’ll probably put it down. And because bookstores are my favorite haunt, I’m equally likely to find something deeper into the store while browsing for something that catches my eye either title/cover/plot/author-wise. I’m picky, but open-minded – I’ll give anything that seems interesting those first 30p.

    But I also think that whoever said people responding to this post aren’t normal book buyers is absolutely correct. I’m sure Nancy Random-Book-Buyer is swayed by the lists even if it’s only because she never wanders farther into the store than the best-selling bookshelves up front. Also, how many stats have we seen about the majority of people not reading any books in a year, or whatever it is? Therefore it could probably be presumed the only books they do read are the big name ones because they aren’t about to seek out others, you know?

  33. Kate Douglas
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 20:02:38

    Forget the bestseller lists–I’m just stunned that they’re not going to finish out Susan Andersen’s series! I LOVE those books, and the first ones were wonderful! I absolutely hate it when a publisher pulls a stunt like that–they get you hooked into a story line and then discontinue it before it’s complete.

  34. K. Z. Snow
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 21:12:19

    Just more easily ignored hype. If anything, I tend to equate “bestseller” with “pap,” because that’s been my experience with all but a handful of authors.

  35. Nikita
    Jul 30, 2009 @ 21:51:09

    The fact that a book is on a best seller’s list might get me to take a closer look. Might. The blurb, the first pages, title and cover–it could be one or any combination of the four–is what’s going to make me buy. I like to browse through the readers’ reviews on Amazon before going to a bookstore to make my selection. I’ve found new favorites by browsing their top sellers which are then linked to other books they recommend.

  36. Anion
    Jul 31, 2009 @ 00:10:23

    Speaking as someone who just had a release, and is pitifully, pitifully low in the Amazon rankings, I am so pleased to see this and to say really, Amazon rankings mean nothing. Honest. And I’d say that even if my new book wasn’t hovering around 20k at the moment.

    Amazon ranking compare your sales to the sales of every other book on their site. But not just that. Amazon rankings take into account how many people look at the page listing and don’t order. How many reviews a book has. How many people find those reviews helpful. If someone looks at the book’s page and doesn’t buy it that can dip the ranking. One person buying it at 4 am when few people are ordering can skyrocket a ranking. It’s a very arbitrary system and it means very little.

    But damned if I don’t keep checking. :-)

  37. Jenna
    Jul 31, 2009 @ 00:29:39

    Bestseller lists don’t seem to affect my book-buying much.

    Now that I have a kindle, most of my purchases are on Amazon, and some of those rankings at least get a book on my radar. A few Amazon freebies lately have encouraged me to check out authors who are new to me, so they’ll make money from me when they wouldn’t have before.

    NYT bestsellers are $9.99 on the Kindle, so the price point may encourage me to buy a book, but that’s a very secondary effect of the list.

    I will say, though, I am unlikely to buy hard copy books now, except in cookbooks and the like. The Kindle is more convenient.

  38. medumb
    Jul 31, 2009 @ 02:50:35

    As a reader, the bestseller thing doesn’t play any role in my buying habits, I buy by blurb, excerpt, review etc, I pay absolutely no attention to the lists even if it is on bold on the cover.
    And since I only go into new book B&M stores about once a year, can’t say it influences me in even that way. Yay for online shopping!

    ETA – glad to see I am not the only contrary one, when I was going into new shops and even now from looking on blogs, often if something is uber popular I will avoid it like the plague. I have a nasty habit of if I read/watch something with a lot of hype, I spend most of my time looking for holes and end up tearing it apart. Hopefully after the last movie has been and gone, I will be able to read Harry Potter.

  39. Sami
    Jul 31, 2009 @ 04:34:20

    And every time (well, except for Harry Potter) I pick up a book based on some list or the one everyone is raving about, I get burned. JR Ward for example. I totally cannot get into her stories. I've tried. Over and over again but her heroes truly get under my skin and not in a good way.

    Me too. I love Jessica Bird, but the JR Ward stuff… yuk. All those stupid names. I really hate ridiculous names in romance novels.

    So bestseller lists don’t influence me at all, because my tastes seem to be a little different to the mainstream. I also know there are loads of authors out there who write brilliantly but are barely on the radar. I get a kick out of discovering a little-known gem.

  40. lijakaca
    Jul 31, 2009 @ 08:47:22

    I pay no attention at all to bestseller lists, and the only reason I even glance at the bestseller tables is to see if any authors I know are there.

    I trust personal recommendations and online reviews (like here) enough to try out an author (though it still takes a lot to get me to buy a new author), but I would never buy a new author on the strength of a bestseller list, or for that matter a professional book review in a paper – if they regularly reviewed romance, that might change.

  41. RStewie
    Jul 31, 2009 @ 09:21:36

    I’m sure I’m not the first to say this, and I won’t be the last, but what I read here and at other trusted review sites is what guides my purchases (at least the ones for books that AREN’T by auto-buy authors). I don’t look at the various lists at all: they don’t provide me with the specifics I’m looking for when it comes to my own persnickity romance novel purchases.

  42. Jackie Barbosa
    Jul 31, 2009 @ 10:25:05

    I really couldn’t choose any of the answers in the poll because I think all the bestseller lists matter, to some extent, in terms of the visibility of your title to readers. NYT and USA Today matter for instore placement. If your book is up front in the store, it’s going to get vastly more attention than if it’s buried in the shelves. When you’re on an online site, that site’s bestseller list is likely to direct you to the titles that top the list over those that are toward the bottom.

    It’s not a perfect one-to-one correspondence, of course, and as a reader, I’m not particularly influenced by bestseller lists because I usually know what I’m looking for/interested in before I get to the store. But for book-buyers who are just browsing, I think bestseller lists can mean quite a lot, and that, in turn, can mean quite a lot for the book’s eventual sales.

  43. Susan/DC
    Jul 31, 2009 @ 11:07:12

    I answered the poll that the NYT list was the most important, but I wasn’t answering for my personal book buying but in general. I do compulsively read their list every Sunday but just to see if there are any authors or books I’m interested in, which is a rare occurrence. I buy books based on word of mouth, reviews, and authors I’ve liked in the past. Appearance on a best seller list or a cover blurb to that effect has no influence because I know my tastes are often so different from the general.

  44. Jill Sorenson
    Jul 31, 2009 @ 13:58:36

    I’m impressed when a romance author makes any of the above lists. It’s a big deal! Plenty of good books don’t sell, and that’s a shame, but it’s always nice to see a well-deserved triumph.

  45. SonomaLass
    Jul 31, 2009 @ 14:46:35

    What Jill said! I watch the lists because I’m rooting for the authors and genres I know (and love) to score spots there. This business is SO hard that anything that indicates good sales of my favorites makes me happy.

  46. Jinni
    Jul 31, 2009 @ 16:23:02

    Bestseller lists make me less likely to buy books. Mostly because they’re in hardcover or trade paperback and more expensive. I always figure with the vast numbers of books published in the world, I’m just as likely to find a book I like in the bowels of the library as I am to find it on the bestseller list – and the library is free. I also never get the purpose of cover quotes – most times – unless you’re Dan Brown, I don’t know the ‘bestselling’ author touting the book.

  47. anonymous
    Aug 01, 2009 @ 08:11:07

    At least as regards the NY Times Bestseller list, they don’t ask booksellers for a list of their bestselling titles. Instead, each week they give booksellers a list of titles for which they want sales information. Booksellers, of course, have the option of writing in any title they wish, with sales data.

    To make the NY Times bestseller list, your book must be on the list they of titles want to track.

    (Caveat: My information is a few years old. They may have changed how they do things.)

  48. Chenebe
    Aug 02, 2009 @ 22:07:26

    I went digging into my old emails for a link a friend who is an author sent awhile back tiltled the ‘Reality of a Times Bestseller':

    http://www.genreality.net/the-reality-of-a-times-bestseller

    Basically, gives the royalty figures for one high mid-list author who debuted at #19 on the NYT.

  49. DeeCee
    Aug 03, 2009 @ 20:30:35

    Like a few others have said, they only affect me at the grocery store where they’re prominently displayed. I don’t buy anything specifically because it’s on the list.

    But at the book store I work at, the labels are a big draw to a lot of people as an easy way to randomly pick something. They don’t have to read the summary or a sampler, they just buy it because so-and-so recommended it. Especially the Oprah seal of approval and the book club groups. IMO (please don’t throw things) I think it’s more a way for people to not have to evaluate what they’re reading (until they hate it) and be one of the crowd that can say to friends that they’ve read it, and why haven’t they?

    My biggest peeve with “XXXX best-seller” slapped on covers is when a book hits the list, yet the author's subsequent books don't, but that “XXXX best-seller” phrase is still there. Granted, it's all about marketing and sales, and I'm happy for the author if it works to keep them published, but as an outsider I find that just as misleading as author quotes that don't say anything about the author's writing (”Author X writes an amazing paranormal romance!” ~ Big Name Paranormal Romance Author).

    Especially when the quality of the books deteriorates and reviews are all bombs, but that book still displays it. It’s kind of like the movie industry’s misleading ads on tv, “The Summer Blockbuster” “Best Movie I’ve ever seen!”and all that.

    I must admit that when an author repeatedly announces that she or he's made it to, say, the NYT list or starts attaching the tag “best-selling author” to her or his name in a newsletter or similar, it's almost a turn-off. I don't know why, though.

    One of my biggest peeves as well. When its the very first thing on a web page or a newsletter, I tend to skip over the majority and eventually lose interest. I don’t know why either.

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