J.K. Rowling’s “Casual Vacancy” Zooms to Top of Lists

The book was published the last week of September, and already “The Casual Vacancy” has hit No. 1 on bestseller lists.

J.K. Rowling’s first novel for adults is No. 1 on the New York Times lists for hardback fiction, combined fiction and nonfiction, and eBook fiction. The three “Fifty Shades of Grey” books have been pushed down to second, third and fourth places  on the lists.

Casual Vacancy also is listed first for in-store hardback sales at Barnes & Knoble. Surprisingly, the book is only No. 8 on B&N’s list for Nook eBooks.

On Amazon, Casual Vacancy is listed No. 3, behind something called “The Mark of Athena” by Rick Riordan, and “Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot,” by Bill O’Reilly.

On USA Today’s bestseller list, Casual Vacancy is No. 1. The book is also at the top of fiction bestseller lists in the United Kingdom.

— John Hayden

The Black Swan And The Ebooks Marketplace

The Black Swan effect, which I’ve written about before, might be the single most consequential concept of the 21st century. Just my opinion. If you’re interested in the phenomenon, you could read all about it in Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s book, The Black Swan. Subtitle: The Impact of the Highly Improbable.

Mr. Taleb suggests that most of the important events in history are Black Swan events, for example, the 09-11-2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. For my other previous posts on Black Swans, click here and here.

Many events of lesser importance, which nonetheless have momentous effects on nations, industries, and individuals, may also be Black Swans.

As Mr. Taleb explains, a bestselling book is a perfect example of a Black Swan, because it’s impossible to predict in advance which book will be a bestseller.   Continue reading