The NY Times Book Review announced last week that ebook best-seller list will now only be available online. It will no longer be published in the Sunday Book Review, nor will it be available by messenger pigeon. At the same time, the NY Times announced that they have discontinued delivery of the Best-Seller List by Western Union.
Here’s more from the announcement:
Readers of the Book Review will notice three changes instituted this week, two involving our best-seller lists. The e-book list has migrated online, the digital world being its natural habitat. Given the fluid variety of pricing in today’s marketplace, we have also stopped including cover prices on the lists.
Snark aside, I am surprised that any of the lists were still available in the newspaper.
Tell me, do you really think anyone is getting the Sunday Times any more so they can get a copy of the best seller list? I doubt it. The online list is too convenient. Some might have been buying it so they could frame a copy as a keepsake, but that’s about it.
They’re also dropping prices from the list, which makes sense given how often online prices change (even for print books). Then again, the list price for print books can sometimes be a useful data point, even if the books are always sold at a discount. A higher-priced book beating out a cheaper book shows that it succeeded in spite of the higher price.