Far be it for me to criticize fellow authors. By most accounts, I am a rookie in this game, and I probably shouldn’t be making trouble for folks of my ilk trying to make a buck or two in the publishing world, but I have to ask, what’s with all these authors claiming to be bestsellers?
I won’t name names, but I’ve come across a few blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter profiles, top secret NSA files… oops, I mean public bios of authors claiming to be bestsellers. These authors don’t identify the lists where they’ve reached such lofty heights, so it’s impossible to verify their claims, and I find that… suspicious.
I have a sense that some authors are claiming bestseller status based on a momentary appearance in the top ten of a sub-category of a sub-category of a category on Amazon. In other words, they haven’t reached the tops of any mainstream or new-stream media list. Can you really claim to be a bestseller if you sell a handful of books in an hour, a feat that can temporarily catapult you into the top ten of a narrowly defined sub-sub-sub category?
Am I being too old school? Is this just the new publishing world in which we live? I know it is much more fragmented than it once was, but I’m wondering if there’s a point where we need to take a step back and ask ourselves if we’ve gone too far. It seems to me that we run the risk of diminishing the quality of books as a whole by using the term “Bestseller” so recklessly.
Here is my pledge. My book is not a bestseller in any form or fashion, and I won’t claim it is until it either appears on a list somewhere in the media (old or new), or it remains in the top ten of a sales list in a main category for at least a week. And, WHEN that happens, I’ll provide the name of said list, category, and/or media outlet. This is my part to save the term “Bestseller” so it will actually mean something to the consumer.