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Bestseller Reporting
The ECPA Bestseller lists are based on monthly sales data from NPD Bookscan (formerly Nielsen Bookscan), a division of NPD Book. These lists contain the proprietary information of NPD Book. Publication, disclosure, copying, or distribution of this information or any of its contents (including to other websites or blogs) is prohibited, unless written consent has been obtained from NPD Book.

Methodology

The ECPA Bestsellers Lists rank the bestselling books published by ECPA members from the previous month, as reported to NPD BookScan (formerly Nielsen Bookscan) by these reporting retailers. More information on methodology here.

 

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You can use these badges on your site or blog to link to the current ECPA bestseller list.


Qualifying Event Sales

Sales at Christian author events can represent a sizable chunk of overall sales for a title, and because of the complexity of the data ecosystem in BookScan, historically we were unable to include event sales because we had no process in place to insure the consistency of the data.

As part of the collaboration between NPD and ECPA, NPD has worked to develop an event sales procedure that allows qualifying event sales to be reported, not only in the Christian Market bestsellers, but in the wider book market bestseller lists as well. The full requirements are covered in BookScan’s reporting guide which is available from your NPD representative, but here are the basics:

Key requirements for having Event Sales Reporting included in weekly BookScan bestseller charts:

  • Publishers must notify their NPD Books account representative of the upcoming events at least 30 days prior to event date, and submit a standardized NPD event form with required information.

  • Event sales must occur through an approved and existing NPD reporting retailer.*

  • Event sales must be reported in the same week in which the event was held, or in the case where books were pre-ordered and sent in advance to ticket holders, reported when the book was delivered to the end user. 

  • Event sales reporting may not contain sales of books purchased in bulk by the author, church or other 3rd party representative and then used as inventory to be sold individually (or in bulk) at upcoming events. (This will result in double-counting.)

  • Meeting all of these requirements does not guarantee event reporting will be included in that week’s bestsellers. NPD reserves the right to exclude reporting when questions arise in the interests of protecting the integrity of the BookScan data. Because the review period is very short in a given week, if there is a question, it usually falls to the unreported side as we prepare the data for release. That being said, following the procedures will give you the best chance for inclusion, and will also allow time for questions to be answered and expectations to be clear.

* Two NPD Reporting retailers who are set up to fulfill pre-orders, and can vend at remote events are Givington’s and Porchlight (formerly 800CEOREAD). They will work with publishers on creating events that are BookScan compliant. Local indie retailers that are BookScan reporters often can sell on-site for an event within the community and report through their own POS, although they must staff the event in order to be in compliance. Also, keep in mind that some venues do not allow outside vendors, so even on a well-planned tour, not every event may meet reporting requirements.

Note: It is a process to become a BookScan Reporting Retailer. Retailers are only added to BookScan twice a year—once in the spring and once in the fall. Those who want to report have to qualify as a true bookstore by selling books from at least a dozen publishers and a dozen authors in a retail arrangement, and they must process the sales themselves and do fulfillment so there is an audit trail available. Most independent retailers then have to work with one of our two indie “aggregators” that package data for us into a weekly feed—Parable Group or The American BookSellers Association (ABA)—because BookScan data turns around too quickly for us to directly gather data from independent stores.

The set-up process requires a series of steps including making sure a store’s POS system can report, testing the data from the store to the aggregator, and then testing it through into our system. It generally takes all of that six month cycle to qualify a retailer and set up the reporting process.

The good news is NPD BookScan captures reporting from more than 16,000 retail locations, including 400+ Christian bookstores, 800+ independent ABA stores, and offsite event experts like Givington’s and Porchlight. It is possible to build a compliant event, and to see that advance work rewarded with a true measure of that event’s sales in the ECPA charts.

If you have more questions about the procedures, process, or methodology, email Kristen McClean at Kristen.mclean@npd.com.


 

NPD is a purveyor of data, analytics, and consumer insights for the book business, as well as many other businesses such as consumer packaged goods, toys, fashion, digital gaming, and more around the world.  For more information: NPD.com

 


ECPA BESTSELLERS COMMITTEE:

  • Mary Burns, Chair (Barbour Publishing | President and CEO)
  • Michael Covington (David C Cook | VP of Publishing & Acquisitions)
  • Tamara Crabtree (Abingdon Press-UMPH | Executive Director, Marketing)
  • Donald Nori Jr. (Nori Media Group/Destiny Image/Harrison House/Sound Wisdom | CEO)
  • Robert Whitaker Jr(Whitaker House Publishers | President)


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