Jump to navigation Jump bestseller fiction books search This article is about the concept of a book as a bestseller.
The examples and perspective in this article deal primarily with the English-speaking world and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject. In everyday use, the term bestseller is books usually associated with a specified level of sales, and may be used very loosely indeed in publishers’ publicity. Books of superior academic value or literary merit tend not to be bestsellers, although there are exceptions. Blockbusters for films and chart-toppers in recorded music are similar fiction, although, in film and music, these measures generally are related to industry sales figures for attendance, requests, broadcast plays, or units sold. Steinberg defined a bestseller as a book for which demand, within a short time of that book’s initial publication, bestseller exceeds what is then considered to be big sales. Star, but the phenomenon of immediate popularity goes back to the early days of mass production of printed books. The earliest highly popular books were nearly all religious, but the Bible, as a large book, remained expensive until the nineteenth century.
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This tended to keep the numbers printed and sold, low. Unlike today, it was important for a book to be short to be a bestseller, or it would be too expensive to reach a large audience. Tristram Shandy, a novel by Laurence Sterne, became a «cult» object in England and throughout Europe, with important cultural consequences among those who could afford to purchase books during the era of its publication. By the time of Byron and Sir Walter Scott, effective copyright laws existed, at least in England, and many authors depended heavily on their income from their large royalties. Bestsellers are usually separated into fiction and non-fiction categories. Different list compilers have created a number of other subcategories.
The New York Times was reported to have started its «Children’s Books» section in 2001 just to move the Harry Potter books out of the No. Bestsellers also may be ranked separately for hardcover and paperback editions. Typically, a hardcover edition appears first, followed in months or years by the much less expensive paperback version. Hardcover bestseller status may hasten the paperback release of the same, or slow the release, if hardcover sales are brisk enough.
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