Books that “really sell”

The Economist is touting a new Big Book Index (compiled using data from global Amazon sales) as the measure of the books that “really sell” worldwide. The Literary Saloon takes them down:

…people buy different books online than they do at the supermarket (or at a university bookstore, etc.) — and the problem with this list is that it looks at only a tiny part of the market. Yes, Amazon sales are impressive, but still represent only a small amount of total books sales (and considerably less so in the other Amazon-territories than the US, by the way). So to suggest this list accurately reflects what “the world’s biggest selling” books are — sorry, not even close.
(And the good folk at The Economist should know better than to present this stuff in this way — the list isn’t entirely useless, but they shouldn’t try to sex things up by making claims that even a ten-year-old can see are patently false.)

The new feature looks suspiciously like some new hybrid content/marketing thing.

Speaking of hybrid content/marketing things, here’s a story about writers who are paid to plug products in their work. Via Publishers Lunch.