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Archived Author Help > Question: What exactly does "bestselling author" mean?

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message 1: by April (new)

April Wilson (aprilwilson) Question: What exactly does "bestselling author" mean?

When is it appropriate for an author to put that on his or her cover? What constitutes "best selling author" status?

Thanks!


message 2: by L.S. (new)

L.S. May | 55 comments These days it doesn't mean much. Amazon has best seller lists in so many different categories, and I have heard of authors putting best selling on their books after making it to the top 100 in any of those lists. The issue is sometimes they are only there for a few hours, and some best seller lists are easier to get on to than others, so it's not really a useful descriptor.


message 3: by April (new)

April Wilson (aprilwilson) L.S. wrote: "These days it doesn't mean much. Amazon has best seller lists in so many different categories, and I have heard of authors putting best selling on their books after making it to the top 100 in any ..."

L.S., I agree with everything you said. I wonder if there is an industry "standard" as to what "best selling" author means. I know it's used loosely. For example, my novel hit #54 two weeks ago in my category (new adult romance) in Amazon.co.uk. Does that make me a "best selling" author? I don't think so. But it is called the "Best Seller's List," so technically that would make me a "best seller?" I'm just wondering what the prevalent opinion is on this question.


message 4: by Martin (new)

Martin Wilsey | 447 comments My first novel hit #1 during a Kindle promotion. I even screen capped it to show my wife!

Do I get a Star for the cover? I want a fancy Star on my cover!

;)


message 5: by April (new)

April Wilson (aprilwilson) Martin wrote: "My first novel hit #1 during a Kindle promotion. I even screen capped it to show my wife! Do I get a Star for the cover? I want a fancy Star on my cover! ;)"

Quick thinking for you to get a screen capture. I did the same thing. I'll give you a star for your cover, Martin. And a pat on the back. :)


message 6: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Emme (Lisa_Emme) | 212 comments My book has made it as high as #12 on the rankings but like someone already said, the ranking changes hourly so it was fleeting at best (although it did linger in the top 100 for the rest of the day). I was thinking once my book hit the top 20 and actually stayed there for a while (days?) I would consider that an accomplishment. I still don't know if I would classify that as bestseller though.


message 7: by Martin (last edited Dec 07, 2015 04:34PM) (new)

Martin Wilsey | 447 comments It was a weird day when I hit #1.

I honestly never watch stuff like that. I don't read the reviews much. I just love to write.

My wife loves to watch that stuff.

"You're #79! You hit #39! #12!! #7!!

That was it. I spent the next 3 damn hours pressing F5 to refresh! It seemed to be on #2 forever.

Then it was #1!

SCREENCAP between high fives with the wife.

It stayed #1 for two days. Fun Stuff!


message 8: by Christina (new)

Christina McMullen (cmcmullen) On Amazon,if your book is #1 a paid category, you will get a little orange ribbon declaring you a best seller. With that, you can claim to be an Amazon bestseller. Amazon exclusive authors can also become USA Today bestseller, but you'd have to be a lot higher than #1 in a single category to get that. To become a NYT bestseller, you need an agent and trad publisher to buy enough copies in advance to get you on the list.


message 9: by April (new)

April Wilson (aprilwilson) Christina wrote: "On Amazon,if your book is #1 a paid category, you will get a little orange ribbon declaring you a best seller. With that, you can claim to be an Amazon bestseller. Amazon exclusive authors can also..."

Thanks, Christina! That answers a lot of questions.


message 10: by Justin (new)

Justin (justinbienvenue) | 787 comments If you haven't seen the royalties and your book hasn't hit #1 then I'd say it doesn't qualify you to use the "Best Seller" title.


message 11: by C.S. (new)

C.S. Bower | 37 comments I think the word best itself implies #1 status, does it not? In my mind, using the term "Best Selling" without hitting #1 (on any list) would be inaccurate.


message 12: by Martin (new)

Martin Wilsey | 447 comments As long as royalty checks keep coming I won't mind the number...


message 13: by C.S. (new)

C.S. Bower | 37 comments Martin wrote: "As long as royalty checks keep coming I won't mind the number..."

Royalty cheques*? What are those? I'm not familiar. ;-)

(*Forgive the spelling, but I'm Canadian, eh.)


message 14: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4346 comments Mod
Bestselling author means an author that is not me.


message 15: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Emme (Lisa_Emme) | 212 comments C.S. wrote: "Martin wrote: "As long as royalty checks keep coming I won't mind the number..."

Royalty cheques*? What are those? I'm not familiar. ;-)

(*Forgive the spelling, but I'm Canadian, eh.)"


I think the fact that you apologised first C.S. was the giveaway that you're Canadian. Just saying, eh.

From one Canuck to another (you should join our Crazy Canuck Blog Hop - pm me for details)


message 16: by C.S. (new)

C.S. Bower | 37 comments Lisa wrote: "I think the fact that you apologised first C.S. was the giveaway that you're Canadian. Just saying, eh.

From one Canuck to another (you should join our Crazy Canuck Blog Hop - pm me for details)"


Haha. Sorry for saying sorry, eh.

As for the blog hop... I'm a complete failure at blogging right now, so there's not much to hop to on my end, but thanks for thinking of me.


message 17: by C.S. (new)

C.S. Bower | 37 comments Dwayne wrote: "Bestselling author means an author that is not me."

Join the club! #pityparty #tablefortwo


message 18: by Quoleena (new)

Quoleena Sbrocca (qjsbrocca) Lisa wrote: "C.S. wrote: "Martin wrote: "As long as royalty checks keep coming I won't mind the number..."

Royalty cheques*? What are those? I'm not familiar. ;-)

(*Forgive the spelling, but I'm Canadian, eh...."


This conversation reminded me of a video tweet on Canadian road rage:

Check out @Asstattic's Tweet: https://twitter.com/Asstattic/status/...


message 19: by C.S. (new)

C.S. Bower | 37 comments Quoleena wrote: "Lisa wrote: This conversation reminded me of a video tweet on Canadian road rage:

Check out @Asstattic's Tweet: https://twitter.com/Asstattic/status/... "


LOLZ. Hilarious tweet, Quoleena! That is SO Canadian. I swear to God, I would do exactly the same thing. Thanks for sharing. Too funny.


message 20: by Quoleena (new)

Quoleena Sbrocca (qjsbrocca) C.S. wrote: "Quoleena wrote: "Lisa wrote: This conversation reminded me of a video tweet on Canadian road rage:

Check out @Asstattic's Tweet: https://twitter.com/Asstattic/status/... "

LOLZ. Hilarious tweet, ..."


Glad you liked it. I've only been to Canada (Vancouver) once, and it rang true and too funny.


message 21: by C.S. (new)

C.S. Bower | 37 comments Quoleena wrote: "Glad you liked it. I've only been to Canada (Vancouver) once, and it rang true and too funny. "

I'm from Vancouver... glad you've been here. It's the best part of Canada! ;-)


message 22: by Quoleena (new)

Quoleena Sbrocca (qjsbrocca) I was a teenager. I remember it being very beautiful. I also have never been to a city where pedestrians have the ULTIMATE right of way. That was disconcerting but awesome.


message 23: by C.S. (new)

C.S. Bower | 37 comments Quoleena wrote: "I was a teenager. I remember it being very beautiful. I also have never been to a city where pedestrians have the ULTIMATE right of way. That was disconcerting but awesome."

Pedestrians in Vancouver are very bold, but it's okay because the drivers are always accommodating. Try jaywalking elsewhere in Canada though and it's a different story...

btw - I noticed you're a photographer... me too!


message 24: by Roxanne (new)

Roxanne Bland (roxanne2) | 102 comments I too am not sure what makes a bestselling author. I only know it's not me.


message 25: by Neven (new)

Neven Carr | 21 comments C.S. wrote: "Dwayne wrote: "Bestselling author means an author that is not me."

Join the club! #pityparty #tablefortwo"


That's funny C.S.! Might be needing a bigger table tho!


message 26: by Rizember (new)

Rizember (httpwwwgoodreadscomrizember) | 2 comments Roxanne wrote: "I too am not sure what makes a bestselling author. I only know it's not me."

This made me laugh and also made me sad. We are kindred non-bestselling authors... for now.


message 27: by Ken (new)

Ken (kendoyle) | 364 comments Martin wrote: "SCREENCAP between high fives with the wife.

It stayed #1 for two days. Fun Stuff! ..."


Definitely take a screenshot if that happens to you. Sadly, fame is all too fleeting. I doubt I'll get to that point again, unless I land a Bookbub promo.


message 28: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor C.S. wrote: "I think the word best itself implies #1 status, does it not? In my mind, using the term "Best Selling" without hitting #1 (on any list) would be inaccurate."

"From better selling author..."

"an Amazon better seller..."


message 29: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4346 comments Mod
C.S. wrote: "Join the club! #pityparty #tablefortwo"

I'll join you, but I feel no pity for myself. I'm just happy to be published and to get an occasional sale. I knew this would be a long, long road instead of a short trip. I'm in no great hurry.


message 30: by T.L. (new)

T.L. Clark (tlcauthor) | 727 comments Haha, likewise gang, I'll let you know when I get there! ;-P
I was so tantalising close when I released my latest. I got to #5 in a category. I was so excited I almost peed myself.

Now, I'm just glad if it gets back into top 100. :-/

Book sales are tricksy!!

But yes, one is a best seller if you get to number one somewhere.


message 31: by C.S. (new)

C.S. Bower | 37 comments Dwayne wrote: "C.S. wrote: "Join the club! #pityparty #tablefortwo"

I'll join you, but I feel no pity for myself. I'm just happy to be published and to get an occasional sale. I knew this would be a long, long r..."


Glad you're not feeling pitiful. I am, but trying to turn my attitude around and get to work on my second novel.


message 32: by Joe (new)

Joe Jackson (shoelessauthor) In the traditional market, it's based on sales units, but I believe they use the wholesale numbers, not retail. So if the bookstores are ordering a new book by the truckload, it'll hit the bestseller list before actual retail sales are even looked at.


message 33: by L.S. (new)

L.S. May | 55 comments C.S. wrote: "I think the word best itself implies #1 status, does it not? In my mind, using the term "Best Selling" without hitting #1 (on any list) would be inaccurate."

Well, I think the likes of the NYT best seller list lists five or ten different books, and from what I've seen, trad published books would call themselves best sellers if they made the list, even if they weren't number one. I could be wrong, but that was my impression.


message 34: by C.S. (new)

C.S. Bower | 37 comments L.S. wrote: "C.S. wrote: "I think the word best itself implies #1 status, does it not? In my mind, using the term "Best Selling" without hitting #1 (on any list) would be inaccurate."

Well, I think the likes o..."


I think the NYT list is unique, and I would agree... if you make any part of that list, you could be considered a best seller. On all other lists, I think you would need to be #1 to be called a best seller... but that's just my opinion, not fact.


message 35: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Jensen (kdragon) | 468 comments C.S. wrote: "Martin wrote: "As long as royalty checks keep coming I won't mind the number..."

Royalty cheques*? What are those? I'm not familiar. ;-)

(*Forgive the spelling, but I'm Canadian, eh.)"


I once spotted a royalty check sniffing around our garbage bin. I tried to take a picture for proof but the dang things are so elusive.

At this point I'd be happy just to see my book make the Fairly Decent Seller list... if there was such a list.


message 36: by Angela (new)

Angela Shori | 1 comments J.J. wrote: "C.S. wrote: "I think the word best itself implies #1 status, does it not? In my mind, using the term "Best Selling" without hitting #1 (on any list) would be inaccurate."

"From better selling auth..."


James Altucher tells a funny story about hitting one of the best seller lists (think it was USA Today) but being introduced as a NYT Best Selling Author. His point in the story was that once you hit a list, people don't really know or care which one it was and further used it to explain how hitting the top of any of the lists on Amazon can be a great marketing tool.

My Halloween children's book made it into the top 10 during a free promo, but quickly waned afterwards due to lack of additional marketing and the seasonal nature. But it felt really good to see it at the top of that list. Even if it was free. And even if it was an obscure category. Believe in yourself and your work. It's at the top of someone's list.


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