The New York Times Book Review has announced a new slate of changes to its bestseller lists, both in print and online.
After cutting the mass market paperback and graphic novel/manga lists in 2017, the Times' Best Sellers team will again track mass market paperback sales, as well as debut a combined list for graphic books, which will include fiction, nonfiction, children's, adults, and manga. Two new monthly children’s lists, middle grade paperback and young adult paperback, will debut as well. (The Times retired its middle grade e-book and young adult e-book lists in 2017.) In addition, the Times will cut its science and sports lists, explaining that "the titles on those lists are frequently represented on current nonfiction lists." The changes are effective October 2 online and October 20 in print.
The Times has already cut back its print lists on the combined print/e-book and print hardcover lists to 10 titles, from 15, although the online lists will continue to show 15 titles. A representative of the paper said that the change "was made for design reasons, specifically to improve the readability of the lists in print."
"We are thrilled to bring back to our readers graphic books and mass market best sellers as two monthly best-seller lists," Pamela Paul, editor of the Book Review, said in a statement. "Our new monthly graphic books list combines the format as it exists across all platforms—hardcover, paperback and digital—in order to represent the range of ways in which publishers create and people of all ages read these books. And readers are passionate about the many genres—from horror to romance—represented on the mass market fiction list."
The return of the mass market and a new graphic books lists will likely be of great relief to Times readers and publishers. The decision to cut the lists two years ago caused consternation among the comics industry in particular. The Times said that reader interest was central to its calculus for bringing back the lists. What the publisher reaction will be to cutting the number of titles in the Review's print edition in its two main lists is uncertain.