Demographic Data Available to Automated Bestseller Reporters

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Booksellers who regularly report to the Book Sense Bestseller List not only help widen the scope of the list and the awareness of the importance of independent bookstores, they also benefit by receiving Nielsen BookScan demographic data. The data is available to all booksellers who report via Nielsen BookScan or the ABA File Upload Method.

Booksellers using the ABA File Upload who would like the free BookScan data can obtain it simply by checking the BookScan permission box on the upload page, which then sends their data to BookScan on a confidential basis.

"For stores that don't report to the Book Sense Bestseller List via BookScan, allowing ABA to share their data with BookScan is the next best thing," said Meg Smith, ABA's director of membership marketing. "They can then receive all of the important sales data that BookScan offers direct reporters."

Smith noted that because of booksellers' consistent weekly efforts to report data, "the Book Sense Bestseller List remains vibrant and truly reflective of what independent booksellers sell most passionately." She added, "It's so easy to report directly through BookScan. I encourage any store that doesn't yet do so to e-mail me so we can discuss making the switch." There is no cost to report sales to BookScan, and it takes just a matter of minutes to transmit data.

However, stores that wish to continue reporting via the ABA File Upload Method can also receive the demographic data by checking the BookScan permission box, located on the bottom left of the ABA file upload page, which says, "Yes, please send my sales data to BookScan so that my store will receive BookScan's weekly DMA Book Sales and other national reports."

Reporters who opt to use Nielsen BookScan's service, or check the BookScan permission box, receive charts of the Top 100 National Bestsellers, Top 100 National Adult Fiction Bestsellers, Top 100 Adult Nonfiction Bestsellers, Top 100 Children Bestsellers, and Top 50 Local Market Bestsellers. Also available are category charts such as art, architecture, photography, and more. Category charts also include week-to-week sales for each title.

Both the ABA file upload and Nielsen BookScan options allow booksellers to create files in their point-of-sale computer systems that are then electronically sent to the bestseller system without requiring manual entry of title information. For most reporters who have computerized inventory control systems in their stores, the easiest and fastest way to report is via BookScan. All that is needed for the Nielsen BookScan method is a telephone line or Internet connection and a computerized POS system. An integrated POS module generates the weekly sales data file and orchestrates the transmission of the file with virtually no staff time.

Publishers already look to the Book Sense Bestseller List as an accurate barometer of trends within the independent bookselling community, and consumer awareness of the lists (and the Book Sense program in general) is growing rapidly. Book Sense Bestseller Lists are regularly featured in over 80 newspapers, magazines, television programs, and Internet media publications nationwide. If more reporters participate each week, the lists can have an even greater impact on the bookselling and publishing industries.

For reporters who do not use computerized point-of-sale systems, a manual entry option is available at

Questions about bestseller reporting should be addressed to Associate Director of Book Sense Marketing Meg Smith at [email protected]. --Karen Schechner