from manuscript to bookstore -- the publishing process

A bunch of Q's and A's
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These are from Justine, but a couple of other people brought up similar points, so I'll see if answering these gets us anywhere.

"Forgive the stupid question, but how does one access the Amazon "list?" When I go to the site, I can look up the top 100 sellers, or if I look up books by SJ, I can get your books, but I can't seem to find the mystical number we've been talking about."

The top 100 is Amazon's "list." To find the number of a particular book, go to that book and then to the "Product Details" link. The book's rank will be on that page, above the reviews.

"With respect to the NYTimes and other best seller lists, I thought they were all thrown into disarray with the introduction of bar codes, which made it easy to track sales without human intervention, and that this is why the NYTimes started separating out "how-to" books etc. in their own list, otherwise, there would be no "serious" book on the non-fiction best seller list."

This also goes to Janet's point about the Times list being based on orders, not sales. That's true; and it's also true the list could now be based on actual sales. As they used to say on The 6 Million Dollar Man, we have the technology. My understanding, though, is that the reporting stores (a big secret who these are, by the way) still don't report sales, they report orders. I could be wrong, but that's the way it was last time it was explained to me.

"Now if you really wanted to be no. 1 on the Amazon and other best seller lists, SJ, you should have titled your book "Absent Friends: How to Say Goodbye to Carbs"--it would have been a guaranteed hit!"

I think "Absent Friends: How Cats Say Goodbye to Carbs" would have been even stronger. Might even have made #147.

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