Update: USA Today Life's managing editor has responded and said USA Today has no current plans to change or discontinue the USA Today Best Selling Books List.
Romance Writers of America sent the following letter to USA Today on March 28.
Romance Writers of America is deeply concerned about the news that USA Today is considering discontinuing its weekly Best-Seller List.
The USA Today list has long been considered one of the most accurate measures of best-seller status when it comes to commercial fiction. For RWA’s 10,000-plus members, appearing on the USA Today best-seller list has a direct impact on their careers. It allows them to stand out amid the millions of romance novels sold each year.
Furthermore, USA Today is the only major media outlet with a list reflecting the commercial fiction market. Americans spend billions of dollars every year on commercial fiction. Their purchases are what drive the publishing economy. As the largest fiction writers group representing the most popular fiction genre, we believe it is vital that there remain a best-seller list that accurately reflects the average consumer’s tastes and preferences.
Until now, USA Today has provided that list. We urge you to continue, as without your best-seller list, millions of commercial fiction readers will have to look elsewhere for their purchasing recommendations.