Midlist books need to achieve bestseller status but generate enough revenue for publishers to profit, typically selling between 5,000 and 10,000 copies.
Midlist books published by larger publishing houses with established authors and minimal marketing to generate interest still sell enough copies that the publication of such works remains profitable.
Midlist books typically cater to niche markets and audiences. For instance, midlist bird-watching books could appeal to birding enthusiasts looking for deeper knowledge than that offered in bestseller bird-related books.
Midlist books published by midsized or smaller presses tend to cater more directly to niche audiences than bestsellers do, often becoming bestsellers more slowly.
Midlist books might enjoy less recognition than bestsellers, yet they remain vital in today’s publishing landscape. Midlist titles often take risks that larger publishers cannot and promote reading among specific groups of readers.
Midlist books serve an invaluable purpose. They give readers access to books that may not become bestsellers but still enjoy significant sales or critical reception, provide quality non-bestselling works space, and allow smaller publishers and presses to compete against big five publishers and presses. Furthermore, midlist is essential in providing diversity – providing readers with quality books that may sell poorly yet hold quality and giving smaller presses access to compete with the major five publishers and presses.
Midlist books play an integral part in today’s publishing industry, providing readers access to diverse voices and narratives while helping preserve vitality and diversity.