Sniffing out Your Best-Smeller, uh, Seller

Sniffing out Your Best-Smeller, uh, Seller

I want a new category of “Best.”  I wanted it rated by people, real people, readers who read the book and say, this was the best I’ve read in a while, or this wasn’t quite up to speed but I liked it for this reason, and look forward to the next.

But geez, BEST-SELLER seems to be on everyone’s cover these days, and while I understand the desire to acclaim oneself as “best” in something, I also think “best-seller” status, like the 99 cent eBook, has become watered down and meaningless.  I want more details.

For example, your book is a best-seller under what conditions?  I just wrote a comic book (www.ranch-hero.com) that was listed #42 in Farm Animals children’s nonfiction books in its second week, selling a whopping EIGHT Kindle editions.  I was # 42!!!  It means nothing, yet it meant everything to me.  I took a picture of that #42, and will treasure it forever.  For that day, for that moment, I was #42 in Farm Animals kid lit.  And if I got to #1 or in the top ten, well… would I put that on my next book’s front cover?  Damn straight, I would!

But here’s the difference:  I would qualify it.  I really would.  I would tell it like it is.  I would say, read the reviews because they’re better than that number.  I would say, listen to my readers.  Read it for yourself.  No good?  Money back.

Best-selling numbers really don’t mean anything in terms of quality or popularity anymore.  They just don’t.  The industry just doesn’t lend itself toward anything that cut-and-dry.  There are such a myriad of calculations and weighted input from a variety of channels to determine NY Times Best-Sellers (shocked to hear the system involved in that crazy calculation) and Kindle Best-Sellers (like my #42 for eight sales in Kindle), that honestly folks . . . let’s come up with a new game.

Again, there is nothing like a real reader review. When we can find the purity in that presentation (which I think for the most part, we have, except for a few bad apples – S. Leather, stay away), we will have a REAL sense of what is a best-seller, or a best-smeller, whichever the case may be.

~~ Janet Fix, editor and champion for authors

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  • Edd Voss Reply

    During some of my experiments with Amazon’s free promotions I have seen my work make it all the way to number 1 in a catagory, I never used that as a marker since it wasn’t about actual sales. When “The Last Raid” made it to the number two spot on Westerns that were paid for I did begin feeling that I could use that as a valid tool. I also enjoyed seeing the paycheck that went with those numbers, Even if I didn spend it on editing my latest book…..:-)

    October 13, 2012 at 10:22 pm

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