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triceretops
02-10-2005, 02:00 PM
OK, so "backlist" means a book that has been out awhile but still sells enough copies to keep it in print.

Midlist means an average book, average author.

Frontlist means major campaign and ad push by publisher

Now you have terms like: run-away-best-seller--best-seller--breakout-best-seller.

So, a midlist best seller is an average book, average campaign, that accomplished better than average sales.

A frontlist best-seller is one that got preferential treatment and lived up to expectations. It's possibly on its way to becoming a best-seller.

A break-out best seller is perhaps a midlist that gained ground very fast and is approaching frontlist best-seller status.

A best-seller is usually national, and high in achievement sales, which garners major reviews in the trades and major newspapers that professionally rate books like the NYT.

A run-away-best-seller is popular world-wide and is the top of the chain--such as the Potter series books. Or is a run-away the same think as a break-out?

Am I close on any of this?

From this list, I guess I was just a midlist that went to backlist. Damn, these ranks are like being in the military, but I feel that they are extremely important terms in the pub world. I would humbly love to meet a front-lister, and proclaim "I am not wooooorthy?"

Where would a vanity author fit here?

NomadPress
02-10-2005, 08:32 PM
Hi Tri,
Frontlist usually just means a book that has been published in the most recent season--a frontlist title would be any title published for the Winter/Spring 2005 list. Backlist books are any books that aren't on the front list, regardless of sales (unless they are taken out of print, and then they are just plain done).

As far as best selling goes, it depends on the genre and market. You can have a very technical book for a niche market that sells 5,000 copies, but if your entire market is only 6,500 people, you definitely have a best seller. And that's part of the problem--any publisher could say they have a best seller, since there is no set definition. That's why when trade publishers say they have a best seller, they define the term: "New York Times best seller," or "Booksense 76 Pick" or whaterver.

One figure that is always tossed around is that the average book, regardless of genre, sells 3,000 copies. I don't know how accurate that number is, but I hear it often. It could be the publishing industry's urban myth.

CACTUSWENDY
02-14-2005, 10:19 PM
:Hail: ............WOW...WHERE DO YOU GET ALL THIS INFORMATION FROM?...I HAD NO IDEA IT WAS THIS INVOLVED......AND ALL THIS TIME I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE NICE JUST TO GET PUBLISHED....SIGH...(I'M SUCH A BABY)

LOVE YOU GUYS......WENDY ........;)