Mar 3 2011 3:28pm

Best of the Decade Data: Votes by Author

Author fight!

Today’s data focuses on viewing the votes tallied by author and we get a very clear picture of the popular and prolific. We also went through and counted up authors who consistently received a large number of votes spread out over many of their books.

Some authors didn’t budge from the top 10, but some that were conspicuously absent come roaring back.

Each individual vote for a book was also counted as an individual vote for that author, as we were interested in how popular and prolific authors measured up against each other.

So who comes out on top? Why, it’s a young firebrand by the name of Sanderson....

Download a PDF of the full above chart here.

And who should appear at the top of the heap with Sanderson but Terry Pratchett! Although Night Watch and Going Postal were strong contenders all throughout the poll, neither managed to crack the top 10, probably because votes for Pratchett were so spread out amongst his many, many eligible books. Jim Butcher and Lois McMaster Bujold also take a prominent place when you look at the votes by author.

Although, again, much like in the titles votes, two names stand out:


The author vote data revealed a few more prominent names when you looked at consistently strong votes across all titles under one author. There were 25 authors who nabbed 10 votes or more across 3 or more titles, marking them as consistently popular, or, in a more commercial sense, marking them as dependable “franchises.”

Download a PDF of the full above chart here.

That’s all the author data we have for now. Hopefully we’ve given you a few more folks to chase in terms of interesting reading material! Tomorrow we’ll be breaking the data down by author gender, which promises to be, well...not reactionary, but not uncontroversial.

A handy index of all data and appreciations is here.

1. aeryn5
I must know - what font face was used in the chart? I really like the design here, and also in the "by gender" analysis - the combination of gray & maroon, use of italics (always dangerous), the pie chart colors - all looks very elegant. But I think it is a different font in the "by gender" analysis. The one impresses me with how legible and attractive it looks even when quite small.
2. Calico Reaction
For the second chart's PDF, I keep clicking and I keep getting this response instead of the PDF itself:

404 - Component not foundYou may not be able to visit this page because of:an out-of-date bookmark/favouritea search engine that has an out-of-date listing for this sitea mistyped addressyou have no access to this pageThe requested resource was not found.An error has occurred while processing your request.
3. Raphael R.
In order to get a grasp on "average quality" of an author, a ranking by Votes / Books would be very interesting.
jamie stafford-hill
4. seamus
@aeryn5 — sorry for the slow reply! The font is Whitney from Hoefler & Frere-Jones, the same one in all the data graphics, just different weights. agreed, a very nice, legible typeface.
Heidi Byrd
5. sweetlilflower
I knew Pratchett had to show up near the top at some point. The man is a genius for satire disguised as fantasy. Plus, who wouldn't love to visit Discworld?

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