If you are like me you are often swayed by books and movies. How can you NOT know what is in the media if you are on Facebook, Twitter or any of the other social media sites. Hollywood seems to take over my news feed on a regular basis.
One of the things as an author that I frequently pay attention to is the NY Times Best Sellers. If you weren’t aware, it is a list that the New York Times newspapers puts out weekly based on print book sales around the United States. Personally I have to say that I have never purchased a book based on its ranking for book sales. Never. So why the big deal for everyone to use that particular list as a benchmark? The perception is if you are on the list you are golden. But the truth of the matter is, you aren’t.
The lists are rigged, mostly for the publishing houses. It’s not like it is a big secret as to which bookstores report to Bookscan. If you are a billion dollar publisher you can make sure that each of those store have plenty of copies of your books. That takes a lot of money and power to do that. One person alone cannot accomplish rigging the list. But it has been done in the past. Others rely on phoney rigged reviews which clearly are carefully written by friends; telling very little about the book or if it really is any good.
So I think it is fair to say that a list of selling a lot of books doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a good book. I don’t know how many times I watched a movie that came from a best selling book to find out that it might have sold a lot but it wasn’t written very well. Characters not developed, subplots left hanging, you know, that kind of thing. Do you sometimes wonder where the author is going with an idea, and you keep reading hoping you’ll find out, but alas, you never do.
I have also been tricked by stealth authors who get all their friends to write bogus reviews. You and I both know whom we are talking about. There are authors who have over 100 reviews the first day the book is released. To me that seems a little far fetched. So authors such as myself have turned to Goodreads.com for honest reviews. I also did some contests enticing readers to post a review if they won a paperback copy. That seemed to work pretty well as I had hundreds of Goodreads users add my book to their online shelf “To Read”.
Best writing authors are another category all together. Unfortunately there are not a lot of books that fall into this category. Even some of the big success hundred million book sales don’t meet the expectation of “great writing”. Everyone has different criteria of what they feel falls into that criteria. Personally for me the list is high and most authors don’t fall into that category. That’s okay, it’s just my thoughts. Daily I get feedback and comments from complete strangers how they like how I think and write. Right on!
I had a friend who said she spent months reading my blogs. She read one blog a day. When she was finally done she felt that she really knew me. She could even hear my voice reading my blogs to her. What she found so amazing, is she said that I thought like she thought. You could say that I am a pretty positive, optimistic kind of guy. I was talking with my real estate agent in NYC and she said she spent hours reading my work before she read my book. She said if my book was anything like my articles and blogs she would be more than satisfied. She gave me a five star review on Amazon. Her name is Leah, if you need a broker in NYC she will hook you up.
So I think the takeaway with any new author, is take a look at their professional website, their Facebook and Twitter platforms. Do they provide useful, informative, entertaining messages on a regular basis, like I do? After you have found yourself lost in their thoughts and ideas, would you invest $20 to read that author’s book? I make things easy and let readers subscribe by email, RSS and then of course adding me to a favorite or list on Twitter or liking my page on Facebook. People will always like to read. It’s a good thing I like to write.