Large Newspapers Start New Book Lists

By Lyall, Sarah | THE JOURNAL RECORD, March 3, 1994 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Large Newspapers Start New Book Lists


Lyall, Sarah, THE JOURNAL RECORD


N.Y. Times News Service

Publishers and authors seem to enjoy few things more than being able to announce that a book is a best seller. But what that really means is surprisingly imprecise.

For one thing, there are myriad best-seller lists, calculated by different methods and conveying different degrees of prestige. For another thing, being a best seller doesn't mean that a book will earn back its advance, sell all its copies or even sell a large number of copies, except in relation to the other books on the market.

But people are crazy for lists. And publishers love being on lists because, as Robert Miller, the publisher of Hyperion Books, said: "The more places that call attention to new books emerging as popular, the more there's a chance that people will go to a bookstore and buy them."

Which might be why The Wall Street Journal last week began publishing its own best-seller list. In doing so, The Journal joined a growing crowd of regional lists and the Publisher's Weekly list. USA Today started its list in the fall.

The lists in The Journal and USA Today are clearly attempts to compete with The New York Times's list, whose power often leaves publishers grumbling (particularly when their books don't make it) and which has a major effect on sales because bookstores typically use it to decide which books to discount and which books to display prominently.

Joe Urschel, the managing editor for special projects at USA Today, said that the newspaper began its list "for competitive reasons" and that USA Today made the radical decision to lump all the books together and rate them 1 to 50 as a way to more accurately reflect the marketplace.

Of The New York Times's system of dividing the books into five categories (fiction hard covers; nonfiction hard covers; mass-market paperbacks; trade paperbacks, and how-to, advice and miscellaneous books), he said, "The Times creates five No.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Large Newspapers Start New Book Lists
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?