Landing on any best-seller list can skyrocket a writer's career, but the lists published by the New York Times are undoubtedly the most coveted by authors and publishers.
Such a plum spot means prestige and validation, as well as increased book sales and a better possibility of selling foreign book rights and movie rights.
We asked a few authors veterans of the Bee Book Club what it was like when they first made the list, and what being a "New York Times best-selling author" has meant to their careers. All of them are working on their next books.
Legal-thriller novelist John Lescroart of Davis, with 16 novels on the list. His current title is "The Hunter."
"I was at a beautiful Italian restaurant in New York with my publisher. Of course, he knew 10 days in advance that 'The 13th Juror' (Lescroart's seventh title) had made the list, but he didn't let on. He had a messenger come over from his office with an actual printout of the list. My book was No. 10. It was amazing.
"Being on the list means (industry-wide) recognition, that you don't have to prove yourself with each new book. Even if people have never heard of you which is quite common the fact you're on the list gives you credibility."
Thriller writer James Rollins of El Dorado Hills, with seven. His last title was "The Devil Colony" (2011).
" 'Map of Bones' (2005) was the first. My editor called, and I could hear hooting and hollering in the background. I was in seventh heaven. I describe myself as a 'stealth best- seller' (because) I had to claw and drag myself up the list (with the books that followed).
"Once you've made the list, you're allowed (by your editor) to do things you couldn't do before. Doors definitely have opened."
Literary- fiction writer Karen Joy Fowler of Santa Cruz (formerly of Davis), with one. Her last book was "Wit's End" (2008).
"I was on book tour in Denver in 2004 when 'The Jane Austen Book Club' hit the list. My editor called to tell me. There was champagne back at the hotel.
"In terms of sales, there was a huge difference and (making the list) became part of my professional identification. It's like a prize you've won that will never be taken away.
"But also there is a cost in terms of literary respect. I went from being someone (critics thought was) undervalued, to being someone who was overvalued. (Pre-list) I knew who I was and what I wrote, but that became unclear. I don't mean any of that as a complaint; it was an incredible experience and I wouldn't give it up."
Narrative nonfiction writer Erik Larson of Seattle, with three. His current title is "In the Garden of Beasts."
"It was 'Isaac's Storm' (1999) and I was in a hotel room, on book tour. I got the call from my agent, who had taken a peek at the Times list before it was published. I was happy beyond belief and wanted to end the tour and just go home.
"Getting on the list is not the goal, but it is a status indicator. The real goal is to have a book that clicks. 'New York Times best-seller' is an invaluable label that means the book will do even better just by being on the list. Which is just one of the things that can accrue to a writer because of that."