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WSJ Just Killed Its Bestseller List. Do These Lists Even Matter Anymore?

Books are an anomaly when it comes to how “bestsellers” are ranked. Movies are judged by their total box office numbers. Music is rated based on listens and album sales cumulatively. By contrast, a bestselling book generally earns that designation after a single great week of sales. Or in the case of an Amazon bestseller, maybe just $3 and 5 minutes.

When the Wall Street Journal announced earlier this week that they would be dropping their bestseller lists, it induced a fireball of angst within the publishing world. Were they just following in USA Today’s footsteps to put their list on a “hiatus” before bringing it back? Or is the WSJ trying to retool their process for doing their list due to the high volume of people trying to reverse engineer and game their way onto it?

For my full take on this new development, read this article I wrote and shared yesterday. Ultimately, regardless of whether the WSJ brings its list back or other lists come up – if we really want to find and share the absolute best books, my suggestion is that we might all be better served by spending more time browsing the books that win prestigious awards and less time on the so-called bestsellers. 

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#1 WSJ & USA Today Bestselling Author

Rohit is the author of 10 books on trends, the future of business, building a more human brand with storytelling and how to create a more diverse and inclusive world.


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