This is a guest post by Tim Grahl, founder of Out:think, where he helps authors connect with readers and sell more books. Tim is also the author of Your First 1000 Copies: The Step-by-Step Guide to Marketing Your Book.
By most standards, I’m still new to the publishing industry. It’s been just five years since I worked on my first book launch campaign, but since that time I’ve worked with over 100 authors in just about every marketing capacity you can imagine. I’ve played the role of publicist, community organizer, web developer, social media expert and on and on.
In various roles I’ve bumped into the New York Times and Wall Street Journal best seller lists many times. I’ve helped launch two #1 New York Times best sellers, several top five best sellers and, at one point last spring, had 5 clients with books on the NYT list at the same time. While I haven’t tracked the Wall Street Journal list as closely, I’ve had quite a few hit that list as well.
I also have my hands in a few launches right now – some finishing up and some just getting prepped for later this year – and more and more I’ve become incredulous at the complete disaster that is the major best seller lists.
As I’ve prepped to write this article, I’ve had trouble organizing all of my thoughts, data, stories and sources into one cohesive narrative, so instead I’ve decided to list point-by-point in no particular order, the things that I’ve either personally witnessed or directly experienced with one of my clients or colleagues in the publishing industry.
My goal is to shed some light on what really goes on with the two top best seller lists – Wall Street Journal and New York Times – and give some information for authors that are hoping to hit it one day.
Here goes. Continue Reading →