Fifteen Minutes of Fame Shrinking for Best-Selling Authors

"The life-expectancy of a bestselling novel has halved within the last decade, according to a long-term study of fiction bestsellers. It has fallen to barely a seventh of its level 40 years ago....

The average number of weeks that a new No. 1 bestseller stayed top of the hardback fiction section of the New York Times Bestseller List has fallen from 5.5 in the 1990s, 14 in the 1970s and 22 in the 1960s to barely a fortnight last year -- according to the study of the half-century from 1956-2005.

In the 1960s, fewer than three novels reached No. 1 in an average year; last year, 23 did.

"The blockbuster novel is heading the way of the mayfly," says Bob Young, CEO of Lulu.com, referring to the famously short-lived insect."

You can read more about the study here, but Seth perhaps sums up the moral best:

"If your marketing strategy requires you to hit #1 in order to succeed, you probably need a new marketing strategy."


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