So What Exactly Is A ‘Best Seller’?
I'm a book guy.
I mean, I'm an old fashioned book guy. No electronic download book stuff for me. No kindle. I need a real honest-to-goodness book, the kind you sit in a recliner with, open her up and turn the pages. For me, the smell of a new book is like the new car smell.
I love it.
There aren't many stores in the world I like to spend a lot of time in. I'm not what you'd call a 'shopper'. Nope, for me, I need something, I go in, find it, pay for it and...see ya later.
Except for book stores.
I can spend an hour or three in a good book store, meandering, browsing, scanning...reading.
And there's something I've noticed: There are a lot, and I mean a lot, of New York Times Best Selling Authors. Now, I'm no expert on authors. Oh, I know a guy like Stephen King is a best selling author. I realize J.K. Rowling has sold a ton of books. I recognize John Grisham and Tom Clancy and Dean Koontz have sold more books than I could read in many, many lifetimes. That much I know.
But as I'm spending a great afternoon in a great bookstore, it seems like darn near everybody is a 'New York Times Best Selling Author'. I mean, what looks to me like a, well, niche kind of book, something that may appeal to a very narrow audience is written by a...you guessed it, a New York Times Best Selling Author.
So it got me curious...just what is the definition of a 'New York Times Best Selling Author'?
Well, turns out it may have to do with manipulation. I was reading about it on a website called Hopes And Fears and while it goes into great detail, part of it says:
An author will send out an email blast to everyone he or she knows that says, 'My book is being released on X-day. It is extremely important that you buy it, so that it will go way up in the rankings, so if you’re going to buy it at all do it on that particular date.’ And that skews the numbers temporarily.”
According to the story another way to get those magic words on a book cover:
Publishers even, reportedly, buy their way onto the list through bulk purchases; sometimes through a third party.
Yeah. There's more ways too that you can read here.
So perhaps a best selling author isn't exactly a best selling author, even if the cover says he/she is.