Are you a best-selling author? Part 1

Some of my previous posts have already touched upon the caveat that should exist with the term “best-selling author” since different lists from different retailers have different values and different processes for creating the list.  An argument could be made that the only true way to define a “best-selling” book is based upon the number of copies it has sold.

As both the president of a self-publishing company and an author, I am in a fairly unique position of being able to see my own book sales, compare it with my Amazon Sales Rank, and then do the same for the 5,000+ other books that have been published through Outskirts Press.   I talk about this a little bit in Sell Your Book on Amazon, because I feel it’s a unique perspective.   And since I have an opportunity to share a unique perspective, I feel obligated to do so.

And here’s my perspective: If you have an “Amazon Best-Selling” book, you should be proud.  All things taken into consideration, that’s an amazingly hard feat to accomplish.   With the proliferation of books being published nowadays (500,000+ a year), it’s been said that publishing a book isn’t all that impressive anymore. Excuse me? There are over 6 billion people on the planet.  If you’ve written and published a book, no matter how you’ve done it, you’re in the minority. 

With the “best-selling Amazon campaign” it’s been said that being an “Amazon best seller” isn’t all that impressive anymore. Excuse me?  There are 500,000+ books published every year.  If your book was/is an Amazon best seller, no matter how you’ve done it, you’re in the minority.  And books that are Amazon best sellers still attract attention and kudos from publishing traditionalists like editors, agents, and conventional publishers.  These people are scanning the self-publishing ranks looking for their next authors/clients, but maybe no longer due to the strength of the book and the promise of its sales potential. Now I believe it is because an author that can “become an Amazon best seller” themselves has successfully demonstrated his or her ability to leverage/monetize their platform.  And that’s what is valuable to all publishers and agents — an author who not only has a platform, but can turn that platform into book exposure and book sales. Just having a list of 500,000 to million people to conduct the “campaign”  is impressive to publishers and agents, not to mention composing a “pitch” compelling enough to get a large number of those people (most of them strangers) to purchase something.  Like I said before, it’s all easier said than done, and that’s why being an Amazon best seller is a hard-earned, noteworthy status. We have many authors at Outskirts Press who have accomplished this, and it is a milestone in their continuing book promotion efforts.