Paperback authors, here’s some great news.Â Starting next week, the New York Times will separate the paperback fiction bestseller list intoÂ two different lists, one exclusively for trade paperback fiction, and the other for mass-market paperback fiction.Â And this is a good thing for those of us publishedÂ in mass market, because it effectively doubles the number of slots on the bestseller list.
Because of the way the NYT lists are compiled, there’s a greater emphasis on independent store sales and literary fiction.Â The end result was that the old paperback fiction list was dominated by literary trade paperbacks that got onto the list and stayed there forever, even though in reality mass market paperbacks were probably selling in greater volumes.Â The September 16 list, for instance, included seven trade paperbacks — and five of those titles had been on the list for eighteenÂ weeks or more.Â According to the Times, the reason for splitting the lists was to “give more emphasis to the literary novels and short-story collections reviewed so often in the Times.”
In other words, the books they deem worthy in their review section aren’t getting enough press as it is, so they want to give them a little more attention because the public isn’t listening to their much-vaunted opinions.
The end result, though, is that mass market authors now have a better chance of being New York Times bestselling authors.Â And even better news: the September 23 printedÂ list will have TWENTY bestselling slots (with THE MEPHISTO CLUB at #7.)Â Good news all around.
(And yes, I’ve got my internet back!)