Monday, March 19, 2007
According to the recent issue of Christian Retailing, PubTrack, the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association’s (ECPA) new data system launched last month, almost a year after its original launch date. PubTrack had been put on hold while ECPA and the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA) discussed data practices. CBA had launched its own data-gathering system called CROSS:SCAN due to retailer concerns that STATS data was being fed to competitors (such as secular bookstores).
We have discussed PubTrack before here (check sidebar for previous posts on best-seller lists). PubTrack is intended to replace ECPA’s STATS service. Currently over a dozen publishers and around 500 Christian retail stores have signed up for the program. The article did not say who these booksellers are (that is, what large chains may or may not be involved).
The article quotes CBA President Bill Anderson as saying that “serious progress” has been made in discussions between ECPA and CBA regarding some sort of collaboration between the two organizations’ data systems. Meanwhile Michael Hyatt, Publisher/CEO of Nelson and current chairman of ECPA, has called for a “better bestsellers list” that would entail data from many different venues, not just the minority of Christian bookstores participating in one current system or another.
And so the issue continues. Your guess as to what happens in the future is as good as anyone else’s.
For the current bestseller lists (remember, this is only due to data from bookstores participating in STATS), go to www.cbaonline.org.