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I never would have thought that an infographic I posted here at GFTW would create so much controversy, but apparently Publishers Weekly and The New Yorker’s promotion of the “Bestselling Sci-Fi Books of All Time” infographic has created quite a stir, at several places, including Tor editor Patrick Neilsen-Hayden’s Making Light.

Most of the dislike of the infographic stems from its gross inaccuracies, something I knew was in it when I posted it. In an attempt to explain my logic in posting something so wrong, I wrote this in the comments at Making Light.

Mr. Hayden,

My website is the original publication source for this infographic. I am in complete agreement with all of your issues with this poorly rendered graphic.

Some background:

I was contacted by the creator of this infographic and asked if they created an “original” graphic for me, if I would post it. I agreed.

They sent me the graphic. I could see obvious errors in it (spelling mistakes, calculation errors, or gross mistakes). I pushed back in that an asked them to check their facts.

I then received and email saying their “fact checkers” had looked through the numbers and claimed they were all correct. I was dubious, but in good faith I had to do what I agreed, so I posted it.

Perhaps I could have rejected it entirely as editor and proprietor of my blog. Yet, I had made a written agreement to post what they sent me, so I did. I knew people of intelligence would see this for the farce it is, but I did not comment in the post directly or by commenting, because I felt that would violate the nature of my contract with the creator.

That being said, I will not fall for one of these inforgraphic scams (which is a blatant attempt merely to gain backlinks for an online store in the UK) again.

I thank everyone for showcasing the glaring inaccuracies in the infographic – as I could not in good conscience do as a party to an publication agreement.

(Not to give the wrong impression – there was nothing other than an email exchange – no written contract – but I am a man of my word.)

I can do no more but claim mea culpa and ask if my reasoning was valid or if I somehow erred?

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