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A quick way to settle the Heinlein/Gaiman War
james_nicoll
Can someone compare the sales of their works on Bookscan?

Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment count unavailable comment(s); comment here or there.

Or turn the war into an endless Afghanistan-like morass (I was going to use "Vietnam" but I decided to use a genuine international simile.)

From what I understand, paperback book sales were much higher in the 60-80s than today. I have never seen the figures, so the sales may be mostly due to having many more midlist authors able to sell 10k books than big authors selling better.

You will also have 'test of time' arguments, which we won't be able to resolve for quite some time.



Not useful, since Bookscan only began measuring in 2001-2002.

Does this preclude measuring Heinlein-in-print? Quite a few titles remain.

You could, but it's hardly fair to compare backlist titles with the massive campaigns that accompany every frontlist release by Gaiman. Anyway, Heinlein continues to do well. Here's his top five:

Screen Shot 2014-03-12 at 12.23.26 PM


So, arguably his most massively popular book, the one connected to the most lively media property associated with him, what can be argued as one of his best books, and (skipping the other edition of the first) what might count as his most recent book (as it was published posthumously).

Edited at 2014-03-12 07:47 pm (UTC)

It starts dropping pretty quickly after that, though of course bookscan measures different editions separately, plus records ISBNs of books that really shouldn't even be in stock any more, but that are and that occasionally sell a copy.

RTD totals for top five: Heinlein 717,016, Gaiman 1,739,262. Ratio: 0.41.

Google hits:
"Neil Gaiman"         2,540,000
"Robert A Heinlein"     739,000
"Terry Pratchett"     1,490,000




Edited at 2014-03-12 10:39 pm (UTC)

What's "RTD sales"? I'm sure it has nothing to do with Russell T. Davies. "Recorded To Date"? As in "since we started counting"?

"Release to Date", though of course for books with release dates older than Bookscan, it is functionally "Recording to Date."

Bookscan says its sales from 2001 onwards, when they began tracking most major trade accounts. They've never explained to me what the R really stands for, it might be recording, effectively, as Nick points out . . .

There's a Heinlein/Gaiman war? I feel so left out.

Yes... so what are Pratchett fans doing?

Given Strata, I could see some leaning to support the Heinlein camp - but it's hard to ignore Good Omens...

At Mark Reads having flamewars over reading order?

There's a Heinlein/Gaiman war? I feel so left out.

There is since this morning, when James started one.

I understand Twitter is really the place to start a war these days; perhaps James is busy over there.

I imagine you already have a Google Ngram ready to post tomorrow to keep this war going.

See? I'm talking about the war as though it's real. I'm helpful.

"Gaimantopia has always been at war with Heinleinopolis..."

American Gods versus Starship Troopers. Lasers don't do much to insubstantial entities, I doubt Neil Patrick Harris' character would survive reading Loki's mind, either.