The New Best Sellers: Implications of Media Convergence for Best-Seller Theory

By Amrei Katharina Nensel.

Published by The International Journal of the Book

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: May 26, 2017 $US5.00

As a result of increasing media convergence and the emergence of new formats and outlets for literature, the best-seller terminology needs to be revisited and revised. This article examines the best-seller theory against the backdrop of the current publishing environment and brings a new perspective to the ongoing debate on what constitutes a best seller. The author discusses the validity of formerly established criteria such as region, medium, and outlet and argues in favour of a more comprehensive understanding of the best-seller phenomenon. The article provides an overview of the contributions in this field and the existing best-seller terminology, drawing on the works of Escarpit, Sutherland, Bloom, Grøn, Helgason, Kärrholm, and Steiner. To reflect the changes in the publishing environment and the consequently more complex constellation of best-seller criteria, the study specifies and adds to the terminology of the field.

Keywords: Best Seller, Bestseller, Media Convergence, Ebook, Digital Publishing, Publishing Industry,, Digitisation, Digitization, Megaseller, Best-Seller List, Sales Ranking, Book Sales

The International Journal of the Book, Volume 15, Issue 2, June 2017, pp.29-38. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: May 26, 2017 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 675.913KB)).

Amrei Katharina Nensel

PhD Student, English Literatures and Cultures, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany


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