Thrilled To Be Second!

Silver Medal Rosette

I know—nobody remembers the second place of anything. You don’t remember who lost the Super Bowl, or who took 2nd place in the World Cup, or who won the Silver metal, but I have to admit, I’m pretty excited about being #2 this time.

First, a little back-story. For the last five years I had been the #1 best-selling author of computer and technology books across all categories (the computer and technology category includes every book about computers of course, but also gaming, photography,  the internet, software, and so on).

Well, this year, they (Nielsen, the ratings people who track data on everything from TV viewers to book sales), moved photography books out of the computer category (where they had been all along), into their own separate category (which actually I think is a good thing), but because of that change, my best-selling digital photography book series (The Digital Photography Book Volumes 1, 2, and 3) would no longer be counted toward me being the #1 computer and technology book author.

A Tale Of Two Counties
As it turns out, even without my three Digital Photography books being included in the calculation, according to data collected by Nielsen Bookscan, I was still the #1 bestselling author of all computing and technology books, across all categories for 2009, and as you might imagine, I’m really excited. (Here’s the full press release from my Publisher).

But then, there’s the photography category, and sadly Nielsen revealed that I didn’t take the top spot in sales for 2009. That’s right—-I’m in that forgettable “second place” spot, but I have to admit, I’m not really upset, primarily because of who I lost to:

Ansel Adams.

I can live with that. ;-)

I Owe it All to You
I want to thank you guys—-the readers who buy my books and give me the opportunity to write more books (if your books don’t sell, your book writing career comes to a screeching halt). Your support, and tireless ability to put up with my quirky sense of humor, allows me to continue on as a writer, and I just can’t thank you all enough.

Of course, I couldn’t do any of this without having a kick-butt Book Publisher in Peachpit Press, and I want to thank my Publisher Nancy Reunzel, my Editor Ted Waitt, along with Sarah Jane Todd and Scott Cowlin in Peachpit’s marketing team for all their help, and everybody at Peachpit and Pearson Education—-I’m indebted to them for everything they do to support my books and help them reach the largest audience possible.

  1. Way to go Scott; 2nd only to Ansel Adams…does it really get much better than that?

    I do tend to agree that Photography should now be in it’s own category as opposed to being in with Computing and Technology Books after all, it’s such a massively popular subject it does merit it; and as Chuck say, don’t concern yourself with the Adams guy…he’ll be a flash in the pan…lol

    All the best to you,

    ps> You keep writing, we’ll keep buying ;o)

  2. Well done Scott!!!
    And a scond place is to be proud of. I do not think you write books to become the nr 1 best selling author but to help us photographers and Photoshoppers to make beautifull pictures (and maybe you write them to earn a buck or two and have a decent living :-) )

  3. Congratulations Scott!! or should i say “Proficiat” as we do in the Netherlands. Thanks again for signing your books @ the PI fair in the Netherlands.
    Never mind the 2nd place … a small dip for man, a giant leap in motivation becomming 1st again. BTW Ansel rocks too, it’s indeed no shame to “lose” from that guy.

  4. Funny how the perception of coming second changes depending on who came first.

    I’m sure you’ll knock Ansel off next year, the book stores here almost have their own section for your books ;)

  5. Congratulations, Scot. You deserve it. Your books are highly popular among my students who are vastly relieved to find readable, enjoyable information on photography and digital imaging. I make an immediate hit with the newbies when I recommend your books.

    May you have the lasting power of Ansel.

  6. Well since no one else said it I will. Dude, you got beat by a dead guy! Is that almost as bad as losing to a girl? Well there, I opened the can of worms. Just kidding of course. If anyone has read the latest Adams book on Color, you’ll find it very interesting how excited he was about the future of electronic imaging. He would have loved Photoshop and I’m sure he would have been a member of NAPP. Congratulations Scott.

    mike meyer

  7. I think we should all go out and get a second copy of Digital Photography Trilogy ( I know you will second that) and get first place back. Take it to a vote and see who wins! Congratulations Scott

  8. I think that’s just Great, Scott! Ansel’s been around for a while! :-) I love your books and have just about everyone you have written about photography. If it wasn’t for those books, I’d be a very frustrated photographer! I really appreciate all you do for us. I still don’t know where you find the time!

    Thanks again, and keep the books coming!!


  9. Congrats Scott. I did buy an Ansel book this year for my dad for image inspiration… But also got him the Digital Trilogy earlier. I love my set (acquired book by book) and thought he might enjoy it too. Keep writing and sharing. Thanks for helping us all get better at what we do!

  10. Hey, should the category have a further breakdown for type of author’s? You know – alive and not so alive? (Yeah, yeah, I know, Ansel Adams will live forever….) ;-)

  11. Congratulations Scott. I know I have been a fan of your books since the first Photoshop Elements book I purchased. I have several of your books now on photography, Lightroom, & Photoshop. They are all great. The humor you inflect into your books really keeps the material from getting boring. I also have to admit I purchased one those Ansel Adams books this year too.

  12. Congratulations on being #2 Scott! Second to Ansel Adams is not too bad. And no worries, Ive got all your books, read your blogs and go to the Kelby sites everyday and to me you’re #1!

  13. Scott, you have the ability to continue to write more which, is an ability that unfortunately Ansel Adams does not have. So, at the very least there is the potential for you to slide into the number 1 spot. Until that time, continue screaming from the rooftops about being second… you’re certainly in good company up there.


  14. One tiny comment: the company name is spelled “Nielsen”. Used to work for the parent company and ran the Nielsen Analytics division. And yes, this is not the first time they’ve changed a measurement standard that screws up historical comparisons and tracking.

  15. Congrat’s on being second and I do remember who lost the Superbowl two years ago….Da Bears! This year I will predict three things.

    1) Kelby will be #1 but tied will be Moose Peterson as I hear Moose’s book will be excellent! Ratings will not allow a tie so both will have to go on Minute to win it and toss ping pong balls off three plates into a fish tank to determine the winner!
    2) The Cubs will win the World Series
    3) The Bears will win the Superbowl!

    See Ya at Photoshop World!

  16. Scott, I have to admit I started to get really distressed as I was reading your post that you came in second in the photography category. I love your books and I have purchased many copies to pass on to budding photographer friends.

    But then I finished reading the paragraph. You lost to Ansel Adams, that’s AWSOME!

    Congrats from one of your many grateful fans who couldn’t support you if you were not so generous with your talents and time.

    lost to Ansel Adams… that rocks…

  17. Scott, I have to admit I started to get really distressed as I was reading your post that you came in second in the photography category. I love your books and I have purchased many copies to pass on to budding photographer friends.

    But then I finished reading the paragraph. You lost to Ansel Adams, that’s AWESOME!

    Congrats from one of your many grateful fans who couldn’t support you if you were not so generous with your talents and time.

    lost to Ansel Adams… that rocks…

  18. Congratulations. You are my favorite author. No one can make learning as easy and as much fun as you do. You know how to use all of your teaching tools to make it simple to grasp and understand.
    I was recently reading some other author’s book about Film and Video and kept saying, “Gee I wish Scott Kelby had written this. Then I could understand it.”
    Hmm, I hope that is a new book you are thinking about… DSLR for Digital Photographers. I’d buy it.

  19. Congratulations and keep doing what you do Scott. I love it and so do a whole lot of other people! Thank you for everything that I have learned from you and your associates.

    Silver medal, not metal, right?

  20. Second to Ansel, eh? Well, as you have said, there is no shame in that! The Digital Photography books Vol. 1-3 are my favorite photography books, and I recommend them to anyone that asks me for a good photography book because there literally is something for everyone. Here are my reviews of volumes two and three if anyone is interested in reading them.

  21. Congrats Scott, I feel good inside just knowing I helped a struggling writer along by buying his books…. no thanks necessary…just send money!

  22. Hey Scott,

    You’re still #1 in my book. Your humor and teaching techniques inspire me beyond words.
    Wish I was going to Orlando next week, oh well, maybe Vegas in the fall.

    1. Oh Yeah, I saw my pic on NAPP News this week for Midnight Madness in Vegas. Someone else will have to be the “Bucket Guy” in Orlando.
      See ya Buddy,
      PS Larry Becker Rocks Too!!

      1. Mike: We realized that nobody could ever brave the bucket like you did, so we’re retiring it, and we’ve come up with an entirely new Midnight Madness for Orlando. :)


  23. Scott – you’ve made me a better photographer and basically taught me everything I know. When I first bought my camera, I could find NO ONE who was willing to teach me basic photo 101!!! When I did find a teacher – he taught me NOTHING and charged me a lot. I knew there was a better way – so I headed to the bookstore and there I FOUND YOU! I studied your books backward and forward and have recently taken some photos that received some national recognition because of the hints I learned in your books. THANKS – I’m NOT surprised you receive such glowing reviews – so CONGRATS, “teach” . . . I know Ansel is looking down smiling on you!!!! You have the HEART OF A TEACHER – you’re the best.

  24. Congratulations Scott. As always you make the job of marketing your books a pretty simple one. Great products sell themselves. Looking forward to celebrating with you in person in Orlando next week!



  25. On the Photography side I think I’ve got just about everything you currently have out. More than 5 times a week (easily) I find myself writing down your name and book titles for my clients. I haven’t had one come back complaining that I steered them wrong.

    Keep up the great work. From the perspective of all your readers, well, you know you’re #1.

  26. Congrats, Scott! You’ll always be #1 in my book. Ansel is cool and all, but I don’t relate much to him other than admiring some of his work (so sue me). Your many bodies of work and fabulous blog, the freedom by which you share your stories and information, have influenced every aspect of my photography. Will always love you for that!

  27. Great Scott! I just want to know when your next book The Adobe Photoshop CS5 Book for Digital Photographers (Voices That Matter) will be released.

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