Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Best-Selling Author? Isn't Everybody?

I read an interesting conversation on Facebook as authors and a few readers weighed in on what constitutes a best-selling author and when an author could use bragging rights to the title. Everyone had a different answer.

Here's a statistic to keep in mind. In Marie Force's reader survey last year,  (click HERE)

"We asked if seeing the words “New York Times Bestselling Author” on the cover of a book is more likely to spur a reader to try a new author. Seventy-two percent said no, and 28 percent said yes. In addition, 60 percent of those surveyed “never” peruse the New York Times bestseller list looking for new authors. Four percent of those surveyed review the list every week in search of new authors.

 Readers really don't factor that in their book-buying decision. I know I don't. I don't even read NY best-selling authors Nora Roberts, Debbie Macomber, et al. I walk right by that section.

So who really cares if an author is a best-seller? YOU, the author. And to a lesser extent, maybe your pub. really, no one else cares. (Okay, your family will give you a hearty congrats)

First off, leave that archaic 'you are only a best-selling author if you hit the NY or USA Today charts' behind. That old-school model hardly applies in today's romance pub biz. Want to be a USA Today best-seller? Join other authors in a huge, honking bundle of stories, sell it for 99 cents, sit back and wait. Bing. You now have bragging rights to being a USA Today Best-Selling Author! Granted, not all bundles hit the charts, but a lot do.

So when CAN you start adding the "best-selling" moniker to your pen name? Anytime you want. Amazon has added a lot more sub-genres making it easier to chart in the top 100 in a lot of lists. There are so many categories, authors and pubs even slot books into obscure categories that have very little to do with romance or the story itself. Whatever floats your boat.

Being a best-seller is not a gauge of your worth or means the book is of the highest quality. But it is a shot in the arm to writers, and if you do chart as a best-seller on a third party site like All Romance or at your pub's website, why not crow about it?

I did a post HERE  Sept 2012 about when to brag about being a best-selling author. My opinion stands. I have "best-selling" author on my site. Why not? Like everything else in this biz, (like reviews, ratings etc) its all subjective. If you feel comfortable referring to yourself as a best-seller after one of your books charts for a few hours on a list, I say go for it. Take a screen shot of the event for posterity and to prove it to nay-sayers should the question arise. Ignore other opinions on this and go with your gut.

Best-selling author? Damn straight. Writing a book and getting it published is hard enough, I'll take my kudos where I can get them.

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