NEW YORK (AP) — The weekly list of best-selling books from USA Today, a publishing company that has been on hiatus since December, returned Wednesday.
“We couldn’t be more excited because this content is important to our vast audience and uniquely supports the communities we serve,” said Kristin Roberts, Chief Content Officer of Gannett Media, in a statement.
Gannett hadn’t kept the list since Mary Cadden, the longtime editor, was one of hundreds fired late last year. According to Erik Bursch, senior vice president of product and engineering, the sales logging – entered manually by Cadden – is automated. Otherwise, the list is run by the paper’s book editor, Barbara VanDenburgh.
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The publishing world has long valued USA Today’s rankings as a comprehensive, data-driven way to measure the consumer market. The list, which began in 1993 and includes the 150 best books, is “based solely on sales analysis of U.S. booksellers, including bookstore chains, independent bookstores, chain stores, and online retailers.” Unlike The New York Times and other lists, USA Today doesn’t have separate categories for hardcovers, paperbacks, audiobooks, and e-books, but combines them all, regardless of genre or release date.
The bestseller on Wednesday’s list was Elin Hilderbrand’s latest beach book, “The Five-Star Weekend”; followed by Bonnie Garmus’ hit debut novel ‘Lessons in Chemistry’ and Ali Hazelwood’s comedic romance ‘Love, Theoretically’. Others include range from perennials like “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” to Paul McCartney’s photobook “1964”, David Sedaris’ “Happy-Go-Lucky” and “Blood Meridian”, Cormac McCarthy’s acclaimed novel , who passed away earlier this month.
In addition to sales rankings, VanDenburgh says, USA Today will feature feature articles on independent sellers from around the country and recommendations from independent store owners. The restored list is a collaboration with the American Booksellers Association, the trade group for independent stores; Bookshop.org, an online retailer that shares revenue with independent sellers, and The Novel Neighbor bookstore in St. Louis.
“ABA is excited about this partnership with USA Today and the opportunity to spread the word about the value of independent bookstores to communities and readers,” Allison K. Hill, CEO of the booksellers association, said in a statement.
The resurgence of the USA Today list follows news last week that Bookforum, an online literary magazine that closed around the same time Cadden left, is returning in August in partnership with liberal weekly The Nation. Penske Media Corporation shut down Bookforum in December, shortly after acquiring its sister publication, Artforum.