Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The portion of a publisher's list of new or current titles made up of books expected to have less popular appeal than the frontlist.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Unlikely to be more than modestly successful

Etymologies

mid- +‎ list (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • And the point is: everyone does say the midlist is dying.

    msagara: On agents, writers, and yes, this is about that post.

  • For that reason, presumably, and not just because she's black, one of the most accessibly challenging contemporary authors I've encountered will remain midlist at best.

    Leaving Atlanta

  • Exceptions abound -- bestsellers, titles where publishers paid for placement, &c. -- but the jump to back - or midlist is now a six week cycle.

    Sell-by dates

  • (link) And the point is: everyone does say the midlist is dying.

    msagara: On agents, writers, and yes, this is about that post.

  • The most obvious thing is that the so-called midlist book, the book that isn't going to be a bestseller, isn't being published to the degree that it was, say, in the 1960s, where there was a conscious effort to represent diverse views, races and so forth.

    Are 'The New York Times' Book Reviews Fair?

  • These are, after all, the same features from which we construct interest -- at a level deeper than the uninvested intellectualism of the middle-class, middle-brow, contemporary realism midlist, that is.

    Archive 2008-01-01

  • I don't know if there's a big market for books like this anymore, which used to be called midlist, but I do know that they're the sort that an agent might fall in love with, if it stirred the right chords in her or him.

    HH Com 387

  • Debut fiction and so-called midlist titles - books that are not large commercial successes - are particularly tough sells in digital form, said Peter

    NYT > Global Home

  • He said that "midlist" authors those who are successful but not best sellers who receive minimal marketing support from their publishers may be tempted to follow Mr. Godin's lead.

    Author to Bypass Publisher for Fans

  • I found it telling when I was looking for some acclaimed authors who have won awards and hit the bestseller lists but are still "midlist" as opposed to perennial bestsellers like John Updike.

    Michael Giltz: Kindle 2.0: The Final Review

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Comments

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  • In bookselling, a list of books that have had reliable sales but are not the key titles on the publisher's or bookseller's list. See frontlist and backlist.

    October 23, 2007