The WORD ranking system

April 13, 2009

Bestseller list

Over the weekend, you may have heard something about a controversy over recent changes to Amazon’s ranking system that are primarily affecting books with sexual content, and especially books with GLBT content, by removing their rankings and thus impacting their visibility on the site.  More information is easy to find, as the internet has basically exploded about the whole thing.

Though it’s not clear yet what’s happened, here at WORD, we wanted to take this opportunity to assure our customers that the problem of books with “adult content” not being ranked is not endemic across the book industry. In the interests of transparency, our bestseller list is calculated as follows:

1. On first day of new month, run sales report for previous month.

2. Type top ten bestselling titles on a list.

3. Print out list on yellow paper.

(Possible glitch: the manager forgets how to count.  If this happens, we’ll be the first people to let you know.)

As you can see, it is a simple process and any book can be a part. We invite customers to test this assertion by buying dozens of copies of whichever adult title they like best to drive it to the top of our bestseller list.  No one would be more amused than we by an April bestseller list composed of gay erotica and perennial bestseller Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.

This should clarify our position nicely, but if you have any other questions, you are welcome to email us at, call at 718 383 0096 (no extension, no phone tree, and definitely no hold music), or for direct human contact, visit us in person at 126 Franklin Street.


7 Responses to “The WORD ranking system”

  1. Jennifer Says:

    but what about kids books?!



  2. Thanks so much for the transparency. Amazon should take a page out of your book (pun intended). There lack of response is only making the situation worse.

  3. Katherine Says:

    There’s no censorship… I see Good Egg right on there!

  4. […] Filed under: book news, book thoughts, bookselling | It’s all over these interwebs, and my store has a response! Cutting and pasting the whole thing here, since I was the author and I give myself permission.  […]

  5. Tim Says:

    If you, as a customer, want to exclude GLBT books from the top ten, be sure to ask at the front desk for the current sales number of the top GLBT book. The helpful staff will tell you that _And Tango Makes Two_ sold, say, 1,000 copies that week. Add one to that number and then buy at least that many copies of ten non-GLBT books. To guard against last-minute GLBT buying sprees, or the extension of the list to the top 20, double all numbers and buy 20 of them.

  6. Liberty Says:

    I see a censored book right there in the picture!!!! :P

  7. Christina Says:

    I don’t understand how a bestseller list works when some books are not allowed to be included. Glad to see Word doesn’t blacklist!

    What happens if you run out of yellow paper? Are other colors ok to print on? ;)

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