Dispatches | November 03, 2009

So Publisher’s Weekly came out with their 2009 top ten list and at first look I thought the list was interesting. Some I had already wanted to read, and others caught my eye (particularly Stitches by David Small).

Then I reached the bottom, and what really caught my eye was the user comments, which made me take a another look at the list. All the books were by men.

Since I first read about this last night, here has been my train of thought:

Wow, somebody messed up.

Though wait a minute, PW is a private organization and they have a right to choose what books they honestly thought were the best books in 2009.

But, on the other hand, people have just as much a right to call them out.

So I’ve reached this conclusion: Dear Publisher’s Weekly, how do you go about deciding which books are the best of 2009? What are you looking for?

It makes me think, maybe the entire publishing industry should be more transparent with the process of how they go about selecting works. It could be the case that PW selected the 10 best by a non-discrimination method and thus justifying their seeming discrimination. For example, selecting the best by how many copies were sold.

But the problem is they don’t show their methodology, and many critic publications don’t explain how they come to the conclusions they arrive at.

So what do you think? Did Publisher’s Weekly goof?