NYT Makes Cuts To Bestseller Lists

Several NYT best seller list are no longer being updated. With little advance notice, the NYT announced that it is eliminating “a number of their print and online bestseller lists,” starting with this week’s lists, dated Feb. 5.

PW reports the lists for “graphic novels and manga, as well as the lists for mass market paperbacks, middle-grade e-books, teen e-books have been eliminated.” Entertainment Weekly says those books will be eligible for the remaining fiction lists.

The comic world is outraged. Eric Reynolds, an editor at Fantagraphics Books, told the New York Magazine “Good comics have forever had to scratch and claw for legitimacy and resist marginalization, and this feels like a step backwards.”

A spokesperson for the NYT told New York magazine that “The discontinued lists did not reach or resonate with many readers … This change allows us to expand our coverage of these books in ways that we think will better serve readers and attract new audiences to the genres … [the change] allows us to devote more space and resources to our coverage beyond the best-seller lists.”

“Comics need to be measured against themselves, not the larger whole of books,” Charles Kochman, editorial director of Abrams ComicArts, the graphic novel imprint of Abrams, told PW.

The comics site The Beat reports that the decision came from New York Times Book Review editor Pamela Paul, who took to Twitter to say, across three tweets:

“Quick note to fellow comics/graphic novel fans: The Times is not cutting back on coverage of these genres/formats but rather expanding on coverage in ways that reach more readers than the lists did. To wit: new graphic reviews by comic artists, more reviews and more news and features about then [sic] genre and it’s [sic] creators. We are big fans, and want to recognize growing readership. Stay tuned.”

On the mass market side, PW quotes Steven Zacharius, CEO of Kensington Publishing, saying cuts were “enormously troubling … [it] effects sales, and not having this list will hurt authors tremendously.”

Click here for the NYT‘s full statement.

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