What makes a “bestselling” author? In my book—heh—it would be making the NYT bestseller list. Of course, you could have a “Top 100 Amazon Bestseller,” or a “local bestseller.” There are quite a few variations possible.
Some are defined by time, such as “2013 AOTSP Bestseller.” We had a list every year, in our store, of the top ten bestsellers by local authors. Yes, my books were on the list, and yes, I’ve said I was a bestselling author—WITH THESE QUALIFICATIONS. In fact, it’s on my website—WITH THESE QUALIFICATIONS.
See, that’s the important part: qualifying. Otherwise, you’re just yanking someone’s chain. At best, it’s false advertising; at worst, it’s fraud.
When I see “bestselling author,” I don’t expect a book written as though the author barely passed third grade; I don’t expect that author to have a dim grasp on English, so that something reads like captions in a bad foreign film.
Neither do I expect to see an Amazon ranking of over 1 million . . .
What’s especially irritating to me are those “writers” who toss up a “book” every month—many of these are more like blog posts; many come it at around 30 pages. Or sometimes less. And believe it or not, some people pay $4 for that. SMH. Don’t even get me started on “fan fiction.” Sheesh.
A novel is 80K words. Thereabouts. Use YOUR imagination and write a story. Beginning, middle, end. Not a high school paper, a BOOK. That may not take you ten years to write, or even one year, but it takes a lot more than throwing 20K words together and hitting the publish button, week after week.
THIS is why self-publishing still has a bad reputation in many bookstores.