The New York Times is launching an audiobook bestseller list this week and this will help new listeners navigate new and notable titles. Once per month the newspaper will combine physical and digital audio and primarily focus on the top 15 fiction and top 15 nonfiction audiobook lists and it will be based on sales from the previous month.
The Book Review will continue to publish in print the Combined Lists and Hardcover Lists each week. The third page will highlight other Bestseller Lists on a weekly rotating basis, including the following categories: Paperback (Trade Fiction and Paperback Nonfiction), the four Children’s Books lists, and Audiobooks.
“The vibrant growth of audiobooks in the industry has created a need for an impartial, reliable source for tracking and reporting the top-selling audiobooks across the country,” said Pamela Paul, editor of The New York Times Book Review. “The Times recognizes the increased reader and listener interest in audiobooks, as well as in the Book Review’s increasing depth of coverage of audiobooks, and we’re thrilled we’ll be able to provide them independent data they can rely on.”
Over the course of the past few years audiobook retailers all have a New York Times bestseller sections for audiobooks, but the problem is that they were going off of the ebook data. Obviously just because an ebook sold really well, does not guarantee the audio edition will too. Now that the Times is launching an official audiobook list and pulling data from multiple vendors it will provide everyone with the best data currently available. This will be a boon for people who read the times, but also retailers who will be taking the NYT data and integrating it into their own sections.
Update: Included links to the bestseller list for audiobooks, it is now live.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.