Authors work hard on their writing. The bestseller list is their chance to prove their value.
Which is why it hurts so much more when they are cheated out of their top bestselling spots. A position they have worked hard to earn, and their readers have worked hard to give to them. When the bestseller list is rigged, isn’t just about it being unfair. It is about denying the opportunity to an author who rightfully deserved their spot. It is great to have a bestselling book, but what is it worth if you didn’t truly earn it?
Publishing By The Numbers
This week in publishing there was a fluttering in the inboxes as Indie Publishing superstar and author educator guru, Mark Dawson, was accused of gaming the bestseller lists.
However, there are always two sides to the story. As Mark said today on Facebook- If I was gaming the system, I wouldn’t have announced it on one of the most listened to indie author podcasts.
It was a marketing risk as he was wondering how he could get the book into the top ten when it came in at number thirteen. It was this discussion on the podcast that Mark had bought 400 copies of his Traditionally Published Hardback release of a seven-year-old thriller, so he could make them available to overseas fans who wanted a signed copy that started the whole drama.
What does it mean for authors? Mark will probably break it down on the self-publishing podcast as he is very open and transparent with his publishing business. As an Indie author who cleared over $1 million from his book sales last year- spending 3,600 pounds on 400 books has got him two Guardian feature articles – name recognition- appearances on bestseller lists. Discussions on social media… it could be a publicist’s win and money well spent.
Anyone can bulk buy a book in launch week for a variety of reasons. An epic book launch party can get you on the NZ bestseller lists. Mark went to his local children’s bookshop to order the books, so they got some love.
Will this change the rules of making the bestseller lists?
David Gaughran has an interesting article out about the elusive A9 algorithm. There have been many people who have been trying to convince authors to part with money to learn the secret of the Amazon search engine… David, fierce defender of the battling author, tells you the truth about the scam.
Publishing Perspectives has an interesting article about reading patterns in the pandemic. People are still wanting to get physical books. Is it the book smell they crave?
While we are on graphic novels this comic appeared in my Twitter feed. This is a must-read for the way it educates about a psychological effect that unconsciously colours your whole world view. Powerful storytelling! It is nominated for the 2020 Eisner Award.
In The Craft Section,
In The Marketing Section,
About Maureen Crisp
Maureen Crisp has been writing her weekly publishing roundups for over seven years. She is a traditionally published children's author as well as indie-published. She lives in New Zealand and is heading the team organising the 4th National Conference of Children's Writers and Illustrators. She is currently trying her hand at writing a children’s book series if she can drag herself away from forever tweaking her Mars novel or obsessing over space.