Hello, lovely peeps, Doris, here, with another edition of Tuesday Thoughts.
Now before you get all excited and assume I’m going to share this big secret of how to be a bestseller…. think again, lol.
What makes one book fly and another sink is as much of a mystery to me like it is to the next person, but I often ponder the question as to when you can call yourself a bestselling author.
And does that title really mean anything?
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’ve been fortunate to hit the various bestseller lists with most of my releases now. I’ve even been in the dizzy heights of the Erotica Authors top 100 bestseller list on Amazon a few times now.
Cue much squealing in excitement from me, yet I still don’t feel that I can necessarily call myself a bestselling author.
To me, at least, that status is reserved for those that hit the big time, USA, NYT, and those that stay up there on those bestseller lists, and not just dip in and out 🙂
Of course that doesn’t mean that I do not celebrate my successes. Oh, you’ll hear me squeal like a mad loony thing when I’ve got a Bestseller for sure, regardless of what list and category that is on, but I still will not put it in my signature, bio, or on the cover.
‘Cause, really, I’m still a small fish in a very big sea. And it seems to me, at least, that there are a heck of a lot of NYT, USA bestselling authors out there. Now, I don’t know about you, but as a reader, that title doesn’t make me check out their books any more than it does an unknown author’s. Especially as nine out of ten times, I’d never heard of them before.
No, as a reader, I simply go with what catches my attention. The cover, the blurb, the excerpt, etc.
Of course, being on those bestselling lists does help an author through the extra visibility. The more successful you are, the more folks will see your book, the more will buy it and so on.
So, I hear you ask, how do you get on those lists in the first place.
Well, a large percentage of it is pure luck, at least in my opinion. Over the last 4.5 years of being a published author, I’ve had books soar, I’ve had books selling steadily, and I’ve had the odd few sink like a stone.
What differentiates the ones that sunk, from the ones that soared? Well, how long is the piece of string? No matter how much I promo a book, in my experience it either sells or it doesn’t. You can never predict what will really catch a reader’s attention.
There are trends of course. For instance MM always sells well and Dark Romance seems to be particularly hot at the moment. MC books are still very popular, to name but a few.
There are those authors who write to trend/fit the market and their success can largely be contributed to that.
I’m not one of those authors. I sometimes wish I would get more MM ideas, for instance, because, like I said boy, do they sell, but that’s not the way my muse works.
And I didn’t get into this business for the money. Yes, of course it’s lovely to get your royalties, and like I said I have been very fortunate in that I do pretty okay in the selling department. I have established a loyal reader fan base now, that I am very grateful for, and it seems to be growing all the time.
To know that folks out there buy my books and enjoy them makes me smile like a loon. It’s why I pursued publication in the first place. I’ve always had stories in my head, but it was following a writing competition, which I entered on a whim, that I really started to write those stories down. The first time I participated in NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing month) I blogged that story chapter by chapter. It was to hold myself accountable and to ensure I did it.
Well, not only did I complete it, I also gained quite a following with that effort, and it got me hooked. Maybe, there were folks out there, who would enjoy my writing, after all.
The rest is history, as they say, and I haven’t looked back. That blog has long since been deleted, because Too Hot to Handle is the first book in my Giovanni Clan series.
So, after all that rambling, what I am saying here, is this.
Write because you want/need to. Write the stories on your heart and the rest will follow. Chasing that elusive bestseller status will simply get you frustrated, because you know what…
There will always be someone selling more than you.
And that’s okay, it really is. You can only write the stories that are burning in your psyche to be written, and your readers will appreciate you for it.
Stay true to yourself. It’s all too easy to get sucked into I must write XYZ because it sells, but you know, if your heart isn’t it, it will show in your writing. I have lost count of the number of authors I don’t read anymore, because, guess what… it’s all a bit the same now.
It’s such a shame when that happens. So, stay true to your voice, write what you really want to write, and above all enjoy it. That will come through in your writing, and will keep me reading, at least.
Then again, I was never one for following the band wagon. I’m contrary like that.
That’s all from me today.
Do stay naughty, folks.