Open Letter to USA Today

As a trade association of over 40 years, representing not only its members but the romance industry, Romance Writers of America (RWA) is deeply concerned about USA Today discontinuing the USA Today Best-Selling Books list.

The USA Today Best-Selling Books list is an essential resource for the industry because it is based on sales numbers. That makes it the perfect barometer of what readers are choosing to spend their entertainment dollars on.

It is not subjective and, therefore, gives equal attention to both indie- and traditionally published authors. This reflects the reality of the market, unlike those best-seller lists that are skewed.

This best-seller list has been an invaluable resource for many own voices authors and books. Because this list is based on sales, it does not discriminate between women writers, writers of color and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+ writers, and all writers who may not, in the past, have been considered mainstream. Discontinuing this list does nothing to help foster own voices or help to create new, exciting genres.

USA Today is missing out on an opportunity to be a driving force in the dynamic changes coming in the publishing industry.  This list also gives writers a way of researching trends in the market which has a great impact on upcoming publishing plans. By discontinuing this book list, the USA Today brand will be less relevant in the publishing industry as a weekly expression of readers’ buying habits and trends.

On behalf of our members and the romance industry at large, RWA hopes USA Today and Gannett Co, Inc. will reconsider its role and importance in the publishing industry and continue to bring such a valuable tool to the marketplace.