Originally Posted by apr
Can someone explain to me why Biblia Koshodou no Jiken-Techou by Mikami En has been at the top of the bestseller list for several weeks now? I've never heard of it before, nor the author.
The series is not exactly anything new, even though it is not on the radar of most overseas light novel readers. The author is also a veteran writer in Dengeki with close to 30 books published but unfortunately with only a limited readership consisting of a small circle of core fans. Casual light novel readers apparently have less interest in his works compared to the stereotypical moe stuff you can see being pumped out in absurd quantities every month.
The pubisher of Biblia is MediaWorks Bunko, a de-facto branch of Dengeki Bunko that targets young adults and mature light novel readers (and an outlet for the more mature and less moe-centric writers in Dengeki who suffer from the moe boom). So far it seems to be the only MW bunko series apart from the Arikawa works that has successfully grabbed mainstream attention. It is difficult to pinpoint the exact reason for its success, but it is likely a mixture of intelligent writing, excellent marketing and luck.
The story is a bit like Bungaku Shoujo with a more mature atmosphere. The general reading public being into conventional novels can easily recognize their favourite titles and immediately form a connection to it at a personal level.
Somehow book stores have played quite a significant role to its success. Being extensive readers by nature, many small-sized book store owners and employees (who in the past were not proactive in stocking non-Arikawa MW Bunko works due to their mediocre sales), are very satisfied with the story and actively recommend it to their consumers. Initially its popularity was spread by only word-of-mouth but later the publisher realized its potential and started extensive PR work. With even newspaper columns and TV reports paying attention to it, gradually it has received mainstream attention.
Since the later half of 2011, its popularity has been rising continuously. The publication of vol.2 in the last quarter helped to prolong the boom. Being ranked by 本の雑誌 as No.1 among all 2011 bunko gave another strong push to its sales.
Since then there is an additional 50-60k towards its total sales every week
. With no major novel release by bestseller authors nor novel awards in recent weeks, the series has climbed all the way to the top of the charts.