Friday, September 12, 2008
ECPA Bestseller List Widget
Michael Covington, Information and Education Director of ECPA, recently sent me this note:
"... we have now created the ability for bloggers or websites to easily place our bestseller lists or a badge that points to our lists on their page. The URL to grab the code for this is http://www.ecpa.org/bestseller/insert-bestsellers.php. The cool thing about the list widget is that it will automatically update with the new list each month, so there is no additional work beyond the initial copy/paste of the code to a person’s website or blog."
In response to Michael's email I asked him to clarify when ECPA's data are gathered for a monthly list. I asked because I saw that ECPA's September list--which would reflect August sales--was up online on August 31. I thought, hmm, the data can't possibly be all in yet. Here's Michael' explanation:
"Typically, we can get 3 to 3.5 weeks of data from the preceding month, but there are a few that mean we have to dip further back. It’s an unfortunate fact, but the ECPA lists are still about the most current you will find.
"Our data are sent to us from bookstores once a week, beginning after the close of business on Saturday and finishing sometime on Tuesday.
"We then have to begin some database crunching that means the data is not ready to be viewed until Thursday.
"The bestseller lists require about a week to prepare because of the filters that are applied and the time it takes to get them on the web and distributed to key media people. Therefore, we typically pull as much data from the preceding month for the current list. Because of the Labor Day weekend in September and the fact that data for the week ending August 20th wouldn’t be available until Thursday the 25th, we didn’t have enough time to prepare the lists and have them out by the 1st. Therefore, the September list actually contains two weeks of sales data for August and two from July. Comparatively speaking, this is still more current than the CBA list for instance, where the most recent data was for the week ending August 2nd."
Remember when you compare the CBA and ECPA lists that they're not named the same. For example ECPA's September list would normally reflect sales in August (except for this one's exception, as MIchael explained), while CBA's September list reflects sales in July. CBA's October list, reflecting August sales, will be posted online in another week or two.