Alison Kent pointed me to this excellent post about the influence of Bookscan on an author’s career…and how the sales tracking system actually works:
BookScan numbers are like an author’s credit rating.
All book publishers (and some savvy authors) subscribe to Nielsen BookScan. The very first thing an acquisitions editor does is check a published author’s Nielsen numbers, when considering a new submission.
Nielsen BookScan tells the naked truth about how many copies a book sells. It produces weekly tallies via electronic links to thousands of cash registers across the country. This is no guess or anecdotal report. It’s all ka-ching, straight from the till.
The numbers may as well be carved in stone.