NewScientist.com has an interesting piece from their November 27th Edition called "Spotting the Next Bestseller."
The forces that propel a book onto the bestsellers list have been analysed mathematically for the first time. The findings could help publishers use initial sales data to decide which books to back further with advertising campaigns, and which books are not worth the bother.
Using estimated sales data for bestselling books on Amazon.com, the team found that the shape of the peaks could be modelled using the same equations that predict how epidemics spread.
Thanks to Steve for the pointer.