Engineering Best-Sellers (Are Your Pants on Fire?)

photo by martin louis has a new feature: people can pre-order your book, but the sales can be tallied all at once on launch day.

From the Smashwords blog:

During the preorder period, customers place advance orders. At some retailers such as Apple, these advance orders accumulate in the days and weeks prior to the official onsale date and then credit all at once on the date of release, which causes the title to spike in the retailer’s bestseller lists.

Here’s an easier method: if you want the label “best-selling author” why not just lie about it?

Artificially engineering fake popularity is lying. It’s deceptive. And it has no lasting value.

If your goal is popularity, just write about the world’s favorite subject. Include plenty of pictures. It’ll sell; it always has.

Oh; you want to write something worthwhile, and make that popular. Got it.

Show me how you put “worthwhile” and “rank deception” on the same plate and still feel good about your art. Or yourself.

A “best seller” is a something which sells more than all the other things. Y’know, “best”, as in “excelling all others.” Not many others, or some others, or seems like some people really like it.

Not convinced yet?

How about this: everybody knows your “best seller” was a contrived carefully engineered stunt. They know (just ask them) that it’s no more real than the picture of you Photoshopped into the Dalai Lama’s limo or the video of you lip-syncing to Friends in Low Places.

A writer without integrity will not survive the 5 years it’s going to take to even come close to becoming a full-time writer.

Honesty does not come by degrees.

7 thoughts on “Engineering Best-Sellers (Are Your Pants on Fire?)

  1. I saw a webinar that claimed that since most books don’t sell more than 1,000 copies, if you sell more than that, you can claim your book is a best-seller. That seems like cheating to me (and made me question the credibility of the rest of what the person said).

  2. Indeed.

    Since our book has sold more than any other book for virtual assistants with the word “commonsense” in the title, that makes it a best seller, too.

  3. You, my friend, are something else. Glad you don’t live by the rules. This best seller thing reminds me of the way we used to solicit gigs. We lied about the SRO with respect to our previous gigs, and some of the clubs would buy into it. You should have seen some of the advertisements.
    I have often wondered, how a person can claim to be a best seller so quick. Hey, you just wrote the book yesterday, and today you are a best selling author! Hmm! Just like some films, that go straight to video! No credibility. Great post. Blessings.

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