from the all-flesh-is-grass dept.
Pomeranian writes "Sci fi readers often deplore book bestseller lists -- because review editors actively ignore many sci-fi sales, since they don't consider that stuff "popular", even though sci-fi titles often sell in far greater numbers than "serious" highbrow lit. But this all might change soon, with the launch of Bookscan: New technology that tracks actual sales at the cash register with greater precision than ever before. When similar technology launched in the music industry ten years ago, it proved the popularity of "new country" and hip-hop overnight. This story in the Washington Post wonders: Will Bookscan do the same thing to sci-fi? NOTE: this is a *shameless* self-aggrandizing plug, because I wrote the Washington Post story! But I figured it'd be of particular interest to Slashdot readers"
CD: While I'd love to see lists that are more reflective of reality, I don't think that a pure unadulterated list is in the interest of the reading public. When I worked at Waldenbooks many moons ago, we would commonly receive copies of one book, Dianetics, from the publisher, with our (And our competitors) sales stickers already on them. While this was an extreme case, it does serve as a cautionary tale about the lengths some will go to manipulate the numbers.
"Can't you just gesture hypnotically and make him disappear?"
"It does not work that way. RUN!"
-- Hadji on metaphyics and Mandrake in "Johnny Quest"