“Don’t run after success; run after passion.
Success might then chase you by pure jealousy.”
One should never stop chasing one’s dreams until these are fulfilled. But what if you don’t know if the goal you are pursuing is all worth it? Trying to accomplish one’s desire to be in a bestseller’s list is one such example. A bestseller’s list will undoubtedly add a feather in your cap, but will it help you establish as a famous author or gain the financial stability you had been longing for? Well, let us tell you that the concept of a bestseller is very vague and ambiguous due to the lack of standardization among various bestsellers lists. Various bestseller lists are based on different criteria and are highly subjective in their approach of nominating books. That is why making a place into a bestseller list is not easy and often a fluke.
There is no denying that a bestseller tag has its own benefits as it brings you status, recognition, and the authority to use it forever to market yourself further. Still, it doesn’t guarantee you the financial stability and the popularity that you seek as an author. That is why you should invest more of your time pursuing your passion for writing rather than chasing this ambiguous bestseller title and focus on the right approach that may eventually help you one day to be in one of these lists.
There are no fixed criteria
Firstly, a bestseller list does not follow fixed criteria in choosing the entries. That’s why every bestseller list has a different set of books as bestsellers at the same time. A recent poll conducted by redheadwithbook revealed that only 20% of the people knew that there are no fixed criteria for being the bestseller, which is the real picture.
Different lists prioritize different factors while choosing a bestseller such as – books published with a particular publisher, in a specific geographical area, for a niche audience, the significance of the topic, and so on. This is why getting into a bestsellers list is not entirely in the hands of an author. Hence, if your book doesn’t make it to your anticipated list next time, don’t be heartbroken; instead, try to learn the mathematics behind this.
It doesn’t guarantee your popularity as an author
Many authors think that getting into a bestsellers list might turn their fortunes overnight. The same poll by redheadwithbook revealed that approximately 21% of the people believe that a bestseller is a book that becomes very popular. But in reality, a bestselling status is only temporary. Also, it takes into account the sale of books for a very short time like four weeks, contrary to what about 25% of the redheadwithbook voters believed that it sells for a longer period. There are possibilities for a bestseller not to sell enough copies later, crushing an author’s expectations to become famous even after bagging this prestigious tag. Long-term book marketing and promotion plans can help an author instead, and hence he should choose his priorities prudently rather than chasing temporary achievements.
Jeff Goins, an author of five bestselling books in his article “What Nobody Tells You About Being a Best-selling Author,” wrote, “Most bestsellers are never heard from again. They hit the New York Times, USA Today, or Wall Street Journal bestsellers list once and never sell more than a few books after that. Authors and publishers put too much pressure on the launch itself instead of the longevity of the book.”
It doesn’t make you rich either
If a bestselling status doesn’t assure the further increase in sales of a book, then the same goes with the financial returns. A bestseller may fetch you good profits only if its status boosts your book sales further otherwise not.
You still need to focus on your book’s sale
In today’s era of the digital revolution, everything is short-lived, and so is your book’s popularity and its sales. The publishing world is highly competitive, and once the new books arrive in the market, readers tend to forget about previously published books. In this situation, only your book’s quality and smart promotion strategies work. Since your book stays in any of these bestselling lists only for a temporary time, it is wise to work towards your book’s long-term promotion plans. It is significant to keep your book’s visibility in the reading and writing community intact for as long as possible until it carves a permanent place in this competitive book world.
As Tim Grahl, the Author of “Your First 1000 Copies: The Step-by-Step Guide to Marketing Your Book”, writes, “It’s hard to ignore that, but we must. The only answer to this debacle is to stop worrying about hitting the major bestseller lists. At this point, the results are so far outside of an author’s direct control, that it doesn’t make sense to make these lists a goal anymore. Instead, focus on the reader. Make your book available at the stores or websites your readers buy books from, in the formats they buy-in. Make it easy to buy and easy to read. Don’t make the lists your customer. Keep the reader your customer—the people you’re really writing books for.”