Thursday, June 25, 2009

The BookScan problem

As we watch the infrastructure of publishing collapse into a smoking hole, it's difficult not to see a connection to the industry's seeming overreliance on the sloppy numbers provided by BookScan.

Recent posts on the subject:
Author alert! What you don’t know about BookScan can hurt you (The Book Deal)
What You Need to Know about Bookscan (A Writer's Life)
The Lie that is Bookscan (All That's New(s) from A to Z)

The worst is that part where "BookScan numbers are like an author’s credit rating." Because a credit rating is primarily a result of choices made by the consumer -- but BookScan numbers are a result of a lot of stuff completely out of the author's control. (Choices made by the publisher, the distributor, the retailers, and a hundred other factors in the marketplace.) To saddle the poor author with all that is either stupid or lazy.

Related posts:
By Any Other Name ...
The Names Have Been Changed to Protect the Mid- to Low-Selling
Should You Self-Publish?
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Die Laughing: Funny Crime and Mystery Fiction


A woman with a complicated past returns home to become the small town's new sheriff. Best Mann For The Job is by the writer/artist team of Chris and Erica Well. Read it from the beginning at Watch the trailer on YouTube.