Sniffing out Your Best-Smeller, uh, SellerJanet Fix
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