Sunday, December 23, 2007

Bestsellers, you ain't all that.


A Christmas Tweet

So i'm looking at the Amazon bestsellers and also the Waterstone's bestsellers and WH Smiths bestsellers and it seems Nigella is winning at the moment. At £12, £12.50 and £13.75 respectively it hardly surprising it's selling though. Russell Brand is at least half price, Richard Hammond the same and so is Clarkson. As you go down the lists there's no surprises. I do like Amazon having only £2 off World Records though. It would be interesting to have a chart which lets us know the most profitable books. If you're flogging something at 60% off you can't really be making much from it, you'd need to sell 25 of them to make as much money as selling 1 copy at full price or something like that, probably. So maybe the 3 websites have sold say 50, 000 Booky Wooks. It sounds great, but if 2000 sold at full price, bookshops will have made just as much cash. And there'd be less copies to print, so less copies to send, which would be good for the environment and so publishers carbon footprints would improve, and then we'd be able to have an accurate bestsellers list, so then we wouldn't be ridiculed in Europe for having a dumbed down list of bestsellers, which would mean that we would invest more time in publishing good books, which means that we wouldn't have to bother Colleen and ask if she could write books for Children, which would mean that she'd have more time to shop. So everybody's happy. Oh yeah, except the publishers, who wouldn't sell as many Booky Wooks....
But, what they could do would be to put the prices down and offer smaller discounts, because now books are making more money for bookshops, and bookshops will sell more, ands don't forget that other books are selling more as well....see, it's easy.
Or possibly there could be an Agreement that means that books can't be discounted for the first 6 weeks of publication. Yeah, that'll work...
I might shut up, if you ignore me for long enough, but probably not


Steerforth said...

I'd love to know what percentage of people who receive celebrity biogs as presents actually read them.

I remember Martine McCutcheon's autobiography topping the Christmas bestseller charts in hardback, but when the paperback came out the following July we sold six.

Lindsay said...

Wonder what the bestseller list would look like if the Net Book Agreement hadn't been completely abolished all those years ago?

In terms of celebrity biogs, I was given a completely left-field present of Rupert Everet's book last year and I did read it, but then I'll read anything. And I also was gifted Alex James book and I read that too, but mainly because I had an enormous crush on him during the Blur years, before he became completely over the top about making cheese!