A Big Deal: Category Bestseller List Update

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A Treasure Trove of Knowledge and Publicity

By Carl Lennertz

We are archiving the rich data coming from 350 stores each week, so we can go back at any time and run reports by BISAC code covering one, two, four, or more weeks. The hope here is you might discover a book or two selling around the country that your POS system may have let slip out, or maybe it's a book you never tried. If you end up selling five to10 copies, all the better for you, the author, and the publisher.

Another goal is to provide magazines and newspapers with lists of interests, and already, in this short time, Locus, Kidscreen, and Boating have agreed to run, respectively, SF, Children's, and Nautical Book Sense Bestseller lists soon. Sky's the limit on this front.

These lists also help publishers spot trends, trends they already see at the chains, but which, just like new fiction, are different at the indies. We have a voice now, too, in more areas.

Anyway, instead of just running full lists that you take one look at and go, oy, I can't get to that now, I'll look at some categories each week and highlight sleepers and opportunities. You know the usual suspects, and I don't mean you should let the biggies slip out, but the following seem like books that are on an upward arc, or are back in season, and are just the kind of books that a face-out could result in significant newfound sales.

COOKBOOKS -- Based on sales the last four weeks:

7. Whole Foods Cookbook, by Steve Petusevsky (Clarkson Potter, $25.95, 0609806440)

14. The Best Recipe, by Cook's Illustrated Magazine (Boston Common Press, $29.95, 0936184388)

15. The Starving Students' Cookbook, by Dede Hall (Warner, $11.95, 0446679615)

24. The New Food Lover's Companion: Comprehensive Definitions of Nearly 6000 Food, Drink, and Culinary Terms, by Sharon Tyler Herbst (Barron's, $14.95, 0764112589)

32. Desperation Entertaining! by Beverly Mills, Alicia Ross (Workman, $14.95, 0761118152)

44. The Big Book of Preserving the Harvest: 150 Recipes for Freezing, Canning, Drying and Pickling Fruits and Vegetables, by Carol Costenbader (Storey Books, $18.95, 1580174582)

56. Super Baby Food, by Ruth Yaron (F J Roberts Pub., $19.95, 0965260313)

POETRY -- From the last few weeks:

14. Picnic, Lightning, by Billy Collins (Univ. of Pittsburgh Press, $12.95, 0822956705)

15. If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho, trans. by Anne Carson (Knopf, $27.50, 0375410678)

17. Poetry Speaks, edited by Elise Paschen and Rebekah Presson (Sourcebooks, $49.95, 1570717206)

18. Beat Poets, by Carmela Ciuraru (Everyman's Library, $12.50, 0375413324)

19. Poems of New York, by Elizabeth Schmidt (Everyman's Library, $12.50, 0375415041)

20. 101 Great American Poems, by The American Poetry and Literacy Project (Dover, $1, 0486401588)

27. Poems to Live by: In Uncertain Times, by Joan Murray (Beacon Press, $12, 0807068691)

I'm happy to take requests for any categories you're interested in seeing!

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