Porter Anderson has a great post on Writing on the Ether today about surveys, bias, and what can be counted (and what can't), based on a Twitter conversation with Hugh Howey.
Howey and I differ, to some degree, on the question of ISBNs, by the way. In his tweet exchange Wednesday with Greenfield, he pointed out something we’ve gone over many times here and at Publishing Perspectives: we’re dependent on the ISBN as the standard identifier sold and tracked in the United States by Bowker.
But it's not all ISBNs! Porter also covers what "count-ability" means - that we are not necessarily getting accurate data from the marketplace to determine what constitutes a "successful" author. That comparing traditionally-published authors' success is a whole other game than comparing the success of self-published authors.
And the ensuing discussion is fascinating. Howey re-joins the conversation.