There is a post over at Dear Author (a primarily romance review site but they throw in a good amount of book industry news and other types of reviews every so often too), about bestseller lists. Its very interesting and worth taking a look at if you just like knowing crap like this:
"The bestseller lists actually identify only the velocity of the sale of the book rather than cumulative overall sales. This is why lay down dates are so important to authors. If the authors can capture most of their sales in one week instead of two, the book has a better chance of achieving bestselling status even if another author outsells them overtime. According to Stanford professor and researcher, Alan Sorenson, bestseller appearance actual slows the deceleration rate of book sales. Books sell well soon after their release and then the sales taper off. For a bestseller, the sales taper off at a slower rate than a book not on the bestseller list.
In Sorensen’s research, the regular visitors to the bestseller list such as Nora Roberts or John Grisham receive very little sales boost than the newcomers. First time appearing authors might see an overall increase of sales by 57% whereas repeaters might average a 13-14 percent increase in first year sales.
All a bestseller list can do is imperfectly capture the state of bookselling for one week. The problem is that no one list truly represents the nation’s consciousness as to the most popular books. Every list has a different set of measurements. There is rarely overlap between the lists and if there is, it is generally a fiction book."
The point was that the best new books aren't always the ones on the bestseller lists, and Dear Author listed the top 10 books that should be bestsellers but aren't. I agree with the first one: Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews. I've been thinking what other 9 books I would put in that list.. I think I have to think about it for a little while. What is your top ten that should have been a bestseller but isn't?