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The Power List Bestsellers Can't Replace Essence's List


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Earlier this year we killed a project we worked on for over two years called the Power List.  It was an attempt to fill in the void left when Essence Magazine abandoned their bestsellers list almost a decade ago.

Unfortunately, the Power List was never embraced enough to make it worth the effort to continue producing.  After I started the AALBC.com website upgrade, allocating resources to maintaining the Power List, was impossible to justify.  Especially when you consider that I'm expanding AALBC.com's Bestsellers list 

The really interesting thing is that people still cite the Essence's list even though the list has been defunct for years.  I received a galley in the mail and the publisher boasted that the author was a "#1 Essence bestseller."  I'm saying to myself, "Well sheesh, I guess this authors must not have accomplished anything lately..."  

Even at it's prime the Essence's list and it's methodology wasn't anything to write home about.  Once Time, purchased the magazine Essence's coverage of books suffered, skewing heavily toward the most popular and celebrity driven titles.  It was not long before the bestsellers list was abandoned.  After Essence ditched the Black bookseller at their music festival, I cancelled my subscription and have not really thought about them very much since.

Still, the Essence brand carried a lot more clout and their bestsellers list definitely gained much more traction that the Power List ever did, and Black books and authors benefited as a result--which is all I really cared about.  I hoped the Power List would recreated that benefit.

But hey the AALBC.com list has been around 18 years and is getting stronger each period. The more authors who boast about making AALBC.com's bestsellers list the more we all benefit.


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