Tuesday, November 03, 2015

"Best Seller"...So What?

I was notified last week by one of my colleagues that my novel, Miracle Drug, had made the best-seller list of the Christian Booksellers Association (CBA). I couldn't believe it, but when I clicked the link she sent I found that--sure enough--there it was at number five for suspense, on the same list as titles from some of the colleagues I've admired for quite a while. I was a "bestselling author."

I wondered if I could really claim this title, so I checked around. Agent Chip McGregor (who's not my agent, but is highly respected among authors) has blogged about this: "So if your book hit the New York Times list, the LA Times list, USA Today, Wall Street Journal, Denver Post, CBA, ECPA, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or any other bestseller lists, you can promote yourself as a 'bestselling' author." Then I asked my own agent if I could call myself a "bestselling author," and she sent back a one word response: "Yes."

But my question is whether this makes any difference...or even should. You see wines that have won a gold medal at this competition or that. Certain products are "best-selling." But has that ever made a difference to you or other consumers? Does it affect your decision to purchase? The people who write ad copy apparently think so.

What do you think? Have you ever bought something because it was "prize-winning" or "best-selling?" Let me know.

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NOTE: I'm pleased to announce the winners from my recent Miracle Drug 5-book giveaway and blog tour. Thanks to everyone who entered!

Congratulations to the winners: Rebecca Maney, Andrea Schultz, Heather Thomas, Zoe Schoppa, and Jennifer Tipton. My publicists from Litfuse Publicity Group will be in touch via email with details on how to claim your prize. You can also email your mailing address to info {at} litfusegroup {dot} com. Congrats!

9 comments:

Dawn M Turner said...

To be brutally honest, "best seller" doesn't mean much to me, as a reader or as a consumer (with regards to other products). Reason? I've been horribly disappointed in books/products that were pitched that same way. What one reader loves, another may totally disdain. Two of my favorite authors are NYT best sellers, but I don't buy their books because of that. I buy their books because I enjoy them. I picked up the first one by each author because I was browsing and found the back cover blurbs fascinating. I wasn't disappointed when I read them, and now have an entire collection by both.

I feel the same way about those short blurb endorsements from other authors and most published reviews. Writing contest/competition wins fall into the same category. They have little to no value for me as a reader. I've been disappointed far too often after I trusted them and actually let marketing ploys sway my buying decisions.

I love a host of books that are unlikely to win competitions for a variety of reasons that have nothing to do with the quality of the work, have no endorsements by famous authors, and are written by authors who will probably never appear on a best-seller list. Some I've found through word-of-mouth recommendations by friends. Others I've found simply by taking a chance on something no one else I know has read because I ran across it on Amazon, at Bookman's used books, or in the local bookstore.

I may be an anomaly as a reader and consumer, but I doubt it.

Richard Mabry said...

Dawn, I don't think you're in the minority. I believe that word-of-mouth is the best advertising for our books, but even then, what one person finds wonderful, another may put aside after a few pages. Kay and I rarely go to movies (preferring to watch them via our TV), especially because what critics may praise sometimes turns out to be a total dud for us. Award winning, best selling...they're nice, but they are, at best, similar--admittedly a bit better--than blurbs from other authors. I don't endorse a book unless it's in the genre I write, I've actually read it, and think it's worth the reader's money and effort. Unfortunately, that's not the case with some other authors. Thanks for your comment.

Jennifer said...

That's pretty cool that you are a best selling author! Congratulations! Totally pumped to have won your book and I'm most grateful!!! Thank you! Many blessings, Jenny

Richard Mabry said...

Thanks. I haven't noticed anyone stopping me at the grocery or drug store to get my autograph, but it does indeed give me a nice feeling. I appreciate your comment.

Patricia Bradley said...

Well, if I shopped where you shop, I'd stop and ask for your autograph! Congratulations. Well deserved!

Richard Mabry said...

And I'd be happy to provide one. Thanks for your comment, Patricia.

Jennifer said...

I'm with you Patricia!

Dynamic Uno said...

Congratulations on becoming a best-selling author! (Although I think you should have been one since you started writing, but that's just my opinion.)

As far as whether or not it means anything to me as a consumer, it just depends...I tend to ignore books that have won awards because my definition of an award winning book is typically not the same as those who have given out the award(s); however, if an author is considered "best-selling" there's typically a good reason as to why they have sold so many books. If the author is new to me, I'll research what other readers have said about the books/author and decide from there.

As a librarian, my customers always want books based on genre or specific authors that they love/have read in the past. Only a few care whether they've won awards or have the title of "best-selling." Of course I also try to sell my favorite authors to get them hooked on those I love as well. :)

P.S. Thank you for holding the "Miracle Drug" book giveaway. I was one of the winners and am really excited about reading your new book!

Richard Mabry said...

Heather, first of all, congratulations on winning a copy of Miracle Drug. I hope you'll enjoy it. If you do, you have a wonderful platform to tell others about it.
Which brings me to my second point. Readers finding authors whose work they enjoy is dependent on reading their books. To start the chain reaction, someone (or several someones) must try that author before they start spreading the word. And that's where I think best-selling and award-winning have some merit.
Thanks for your comment.