Times to Create E-Book Best-Seller List

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Authors can dream a slightly different dream as of today. In the airy moments between feverish typing fits, they can imagine their books reaching the New York Times E-Book Best-Seller List, which the paper will begin publishing early next year.

In an acknowledgment of the growing sales and influence of digital publishing, The New York Times said on Wednesday that it would publish e-book best-seller lists in fiction and nonfiction beginning early next year.

The lists will be compiled from weekly data from publishers, chain bookstores, independent booksellers and online retailers, among other sources.

Since 1935 The Times has published best-seller lists, widely considered the industry standard. Best-seller lists are also published by Publishers Weekly, a trade publication, and newspapers including The Los Angeles Times and USA Today. Janet Elder, the editor of news surveys and election analysis for The Times, said the newspaper had spent two years creating a system that tracks and verifies e-book sales.

"We've had our eye on e-book sales since e-books began," Ms. Elder said. "It was clear that e-books were taking a greater and greater share of total sales, and we wanted to be able to tell our readers which titles were selling and how they fit together with print sales."

Read the full story at the New York Times.

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Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science website in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

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