So you want a bestseller? If you’re going to compete against 200,000+ books per year in the US, you better understand how the lists work. (Photo: See-ming Lee)
This will be a short post, but it’s one I’ve wanted to write for a long time. Special thanks to my book agent, Steve Hanselman, for help.
Having had two bestsellers (and preparing to launch what I hope will be a third), I’m constantly asked about how bestseller lists work. It can be a very complicated subject, but I’ll provide a summary of the major lists below, with the bonus of a brand-new list you’ve never seen: The Amazon Monthly 100.
The New York Times
At the top of the heap of all the lists, of course, are the publishing industry standards: The New York Times Bestseller lists. Yes, “lists.” There are a lot of NYT lists: in fact, now 20 weekly and 3 monthly lists. Check them out here. The 4-Hour Workweek is still appearing here at #10 this weekend, more than five years after publication! It’s been a wild ride.
The New York Times list is what they call a “survey,” based on a proprietary and closely-guarded list of accounts they poll weekly for sales. It’s tabulated Sunday to Sunday, which is why I prefer to launch on Tuesdays instead of Thursdays, two common options for publishers (nope, you can’t just launch at retail whenever you like)… Read More
This is a guest post by Dan Ariely, James B Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University.
I’ve always suspected that we start each day with a limited number of decision-making points that, once depleted, leave us cognitively impaired. This is part of the reason that automating minutiae, adopting rituals, and applying creativity only where it’s most valuable (e.g. not deciding what to eat for breakfast) is so important to me.
I just don’t have the bandwidth to get big things done by doing otherwise. Perhaps, just as Phelps was born with bigger lungs than 99.9% of the population, and just as some people only need four hours of sleep per night, some people are born with more decision-making “hit points” than others?
Food for thought. This leads to Dan’s discussion of “ego-depletion” and how to insure against making bad decisions… Read More
This is more of an announcement than a post. There’s a fun video on writing and book marketing coming next, but first…
ATTENTION MEDIA, BLOGGERS, AND LIST OWNERS
I’ve made very few media commitments thus far related to The 4-Hour Chef and its launch November 20th.
It’s going to be bigger and badder than my last two books.
Do you have a magazine, column, blog, TV show, radio show, or mailing list? Would you like to do an interview, feature, or post an excerpt from the book? Please click here to let me know. I have a ton of material, including experiments, video, pictures, case studies, etc.
Hope to hear from you!
This is the book I’ve always wanted to write. It’s going to be a hell of a ride.
Wow. The audio submissions for the 8-second book trailer are simply AMAZING. I listened to hundreds of the almost 800 entries. So sorry for the delay in things, but I wanted to hear as many as possible. Thank you all so much for submitting!
Please help me vote for the winner with the below video form (deadline 5pm PT August 10)! To watch the video sync’ed to the music, just play the track and scroll back up to watch the video.
Here are the six finalists I picked. The winner gets $2,000!