New York Times Dumps Comics and Mass Market Paperback Bestseller Lists

Posted on January 31, 2017

Publishers and authors are reeling from the news that The New York Times is dropping a number of its bestseller list as of February 5, 2017. On the chopping block are the bestseller lists for graphic novels, manga, mass market paperbacks, young adult ebooks and middle grade ebooks. Publisher's Weekly reports that the change is part of a larger restructuring of the books section of The Times.

On the chopping block are the graphic novel/manga lists, the paperback list, and the ebook lists for middle grade books and for young adult ebooks. In a statement the Times explained that many of the lists were just experiments and those are now being discontinued. The New York Times says that it will still cover those genres in the news sections, both in print and online.

The statement also discusses what lists are remaining: Top 15 Hardcover Fiction, Top 15 Hardcover Nonfiction, Top 15 Combined Print and E Fiction, Top 15 Combined Print and E Nonfiction, Top 10 Children's Hardcover Picture Books, Top 10 Children's Middle Grade Hardcover Chapter Books, Top 10 Children's Young Adult Hardcover Chapter Books, and Top 10 Children's Series."

The Paperback Trade Fiction, Paperback Nonfiction, Business, Sports, Science, and Advice Miscellaneous lists are being cut from the print version of the newspaper but will be available online.

The publishers who are hardest hit are the comics publishers, a number of which were horrified that Pamela Paul, The New York Times Book Review editor, referred to comics as a "genre" instead of a medium. There is no question that having being able to call a graphic novel a New York Times bestseller is very helpful for marketing. But not every one is unhappy about the change. Neil Gaiman, bestselling author and creator of the Sandman comics, tweeted, "I liked it better when we got graphic novels onto the real NYT list. It was more fun than feeling exiled to the kids' table." Of course, at this point Neil's grocery list would probably make the Times' nonfiction bestseller list. Oh come on, you know it's probably more interesting than your grocery list.

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