The First IBPA Bestsellers Sampler

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August 2011
by Judith Appelbaum

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The First IBPA Bestsellers Sampler

Lewis Carroll’s Humpty Dumpty would be right at home in the wonderland of bestseller lists, where any compiler could say, “When I use a word, it means just what I choose it to mean.”

What bestseller usually means is, “book whose sales in certain parts of certain channels during a very short time topped the sales of most other books in those parts of those channels during that very short time.”

But it’s easy to argue that how many readers a book reaches throughout its life matters a whole lot more than how many readers it reaches in limited arenas within a tiny time frame.

That’s because, as independent publishers demonstrate every day, a book is not just a physical or digital object. It’s a mechanism for delivering benefits. Maybe it provides a way to solve a problem or understand an event, a trend, a syndrome, or a person. Maybe it offers entertainment, even escape. Whatever a book does, if it does it well—and if its publisher is intelligently active on its behalf—early readers will talk about it, and what they say will ripple out, often creating a lengthy soaring sales curve.

In this issue of the Independent (“See More Bestsellers Stories”), and in the May, June, and July 2011 issues, we’ve been highlighting…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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