Bestselling Book

There is a big difference from being an author to being a bestselling author.  Whether you do it full-time or part-time, whether you are an indie or with a publishing house, being able to call yourself a bestselling author increases your credibility.  But, what does it take to become a bestselling author?

Well, that actually depends on many factors.  The New York Times is the most famous of these lists.  There are others of course including Publishers Weekly, The Boston Globe, USA Today, The LA Times, The Wall Street Journal, and even WalMart.com.  Some of the most important nowadays in the e-market are Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Using myself as an example, some of my books have been on the Top 100 Amazon Bestselling Lesbian Fiction List for weeks on end.  Some, have even made it to #1 many times or remained in the top five for a while!  Many of my books have been in the top 300 for ever it seems.  However, I have to point out that Lesbian Fiction (Lesfic) is a small market and frequently Amazon throws in gay fiction which really should have a separate listing of its own (that’s a blog for another time).  A few of my books in recent years, I didn’t even put into Lesfic because they are good stories, everyone already knows I write Lesfic, and I wanted to see how they would do in the overall Amazon ranks.  They did phenomenally well.  Doctored and Veil of Silence blew my mind last year with their releases back to back.  They are both still selling well.  This year, Vetted is proving to be a best-seller.  It has never been listed a Lesfic novel, I put it into Action-Adventure and Romance…get this, in the hundreds of thousands of books that it had to compete with, it got down to the low 40’s and STAYED in that area for three SOLID weeks!  That’s incredible.

What does this mean?  It means that my books, due to the rankings that fluctuate hourly (thank goodness it’s a digital age), only 39 or so books sold more copies than mine did at any given time.  This, competing throughout Amazon and the hundreds of thousands in those specific rankings.

The New York Times bestseller list is different.  Not better or worse, just different.  They do not release exactly how these books get on the list and my own research has shown some of it is by trickery, bribery, and the big five publishers.  I don’t think my little lesfic publishing group will ever get one of my Lesbian Fiction books onto this anointed and prestigious list…ever.  That’s okay, I know I’m writing good fiction.  I know I’m writing stories that fans will want to read over and over again…and share.  They will stand the test of time.  Also, the New York Times list counts on ratings, based on orders to brick-and-mortar stores.  If your books aren’t in these, chances are you won’t get noticed.  With the downsizing of these stores, and the homophobia that still exists in major chains, the chances decline even further.  One clever entrepreneur (I use that term loosely, they were con-artists if you want the real term) managed to trick the list by placing a series of orders for their book to stores that didn’t exist, calling to see if they were available, and jacking up the system…only to cancel the order a day or so later…the numbers were already reported and their book sailed up the list.  Apparently, the New York Times list only counts the sales, not the canceled orders or returns.

In my research I came across this gem:cc

Click on the picture above for the rest of the article for more information.

Another difference that I am aware of is that the New York Times list is for paperbacks and they compile these lists weekly.  Because of its electronic system, Amazon’s list is hourly.  So, being on Amazon’s bestselling list is actually better!  It means you are SELLING more books!  Who doesn’t want to make MORE money this way?  Yes, being mentioned in the New York Times with millions of readers will get you more sales and especially more prestige over time, you are, after all, building a name…but, in the end, making money is really what it comes down to.  While being lauded as a New York Times bestselling author will garner you attention and I think it’s wonderful to be able to say that, there are other lists, there are other factors, and again, it comes down to money.

As the publishing world changes, and let’s face it, whether you love Amazon or B&N or a bajillion other outlets (mine are available on almost all of these), the e-book has changed the way we authors and publishers do business.  I am sad to see bookstores closing, I really am.  I still remember standing in the middle of a Barnes & Noble in San Luis Obispo, California and just BREATHING in the atmosphere.  I hope that libraries stay open and applaud the fact that they lend books that are e-books now too.

Another thing that I found as I researched for this blog is that literary agents, publishers, and others when looking for the next ‘rock star’ of the literary world are now sitting up and taking notice of those independent publishers and authors, and finding those ‘bestselling’ authors this way.  They want a piece of the pie, they don’t want to be left behind in the ‘old’ ways anymore.  They want to help those selling well to sell even more…so they can take their cut with their expertise.

I rely on proof, I have seen those hawking a book as a ‘must-read’ and I cringe at that.  That phrase alone is like nails down a chalkboard for me.  My first thought when I hear it is WHY MUST I?  I would rather hear from their reviews, their reviewers, or the proof that shows the book is selling well.  Here is my screen shot of Vetted taken the other day:Capture

Don’t just take my word for it…really, I am the author and publisher, I’ll admit to being biased…but, since it’s selling so well, maybe you should just go find out yourself WHY?

Vetted Final Cover

Click on the picture to be taken to Amazon.

As always, you can get ALL the links at my website, or download it FROM my website at www.kannemeinel.com.

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Luggage

Thirty odd years ago (yeah, I can’t believe I can say that either) my mother bought me a luggage set as a birthday/graduation/xmas present.  It was pretty expensive then (especially for my mom) and I have to say I have gotten a lot of use out of it.  For roughly $100-$150 I got a complete Samsonite set.

20170702_203051_Burst01.jpgAnd, after 30 some years of traveling (I lived out of them for a couple of years) they really have stood the test of time.

What happened to the days where you bought something and knew it would last?  Remember the days where Samsonite had those commercials where chimpanzee’s, monkey’s, and apes threw the cases around?  They really did/do last.  Okay, it was American Tourister (do they still exist?) but, you get my drift…

I’m sad to say that other cases I’ve added have never lasted as long.  This set, pictured above is still going fairly strong.  I have one or two pieces I never use anymore (makeup case) and I’ve learned to downsize, but the same basic three pieces are still alive.  I’ve lost the pull strap for the big one which still has working wheels, you can see wear and tear on the edges, and today I found a hole through one of them as I pack for the GCLS con in Chicago.  Still, quality LASTS.  So does a GOOD story.  It stick’s with you for a LONG time, even after the book has become frayed and worn away.

We are living in a time where people dispose of their possessions far too easily.  A book, a story that sticks with you, makes you want to read over and over again, is priceless.  So take a moment and think over those you have enjoyed.  Check out mine if you haven’t, and if you have, please leave a review….you never know who you might influence and they can have the same enjoyment of the story that you had.

ShadoePublishing 4

If you are at GCLS this next week, please say hello to me.  If I look a bit confused it’s because I have the memory of a goldfish and while your name might ring a bell, the bell’s clapper may have been muffled…Facebook friends and others have a tendency to make me look as though I don’t remember anyone, but I do, and I have a long memory for the oddest things…so take a chance and give me a hug (I really don’t bite (despite the fangs)…hard), talk to me, and ask me for a lesbian membership card!  Lol!   Who knows when/where we will meet again!  See you all there!

Pay it Forward….with BOOKS!

Several years ago when Harry Potter was at its height and kids anxiously awaited each and EVERY release, my kids included, we ran into a problem at the school library.  Our school was brand spanking new and as a result got the new books LAST before the more established grade schools.  So, for like 400 kids waiting for a book there might be one or two, if that.  Then you had the time while someone had it checked out and you had to wait for them to return it before it became available for the next student…and the next.

I was in a good place in my life.  Two homes, two vehicles, and two boys who LOVED the HARRY POTTER books, which had been introduced to them by their loving Grandmother, my mother.  We all enjoyed the books both written and on tape as we took many trips together during that time.  My boys had a rule though; we ALL had to read the books FIRST before we could listen to them read to us on tape.  It was great as the boys read these thick volumes and enjoyed the stories.  Their imaginations soared.  But then we found out about the local library and their problems.

So, I went out and bought two complete sets of the books and ‘donated’ them to our school library.  The librarian couldn’t understand what my son meant at first when he brought them in to her.  When she finally realized what it was about she got up and gave him a kiss on the cheek, requesting that he give me the same.  Every new book that came out got a ‘donation’ or two to the school library so that more copies were available to the kids whose parents either couldn’t afford to buy them or didn’t realize their children were reading them.  My kids too got such a kick out of knowing their friends could read the same stories and enjoy them the same way they did.

A few years later, they were out of the school system but their mom (me) began to write her own novels.  I now donate them to the local library here in small-town USA as the LGBT section is woefully neglected.  I don’t think they appreciate Lesbian Fiction but I don’t really care for their narrow-mindedness.  I did hear from someone in town who was able to borrow one of my books and has since purchased ones that aren’t available by paperback.  I’ll continue to pay it forward…with books.  Thank you for reading!

My books are available through Shadoe Publishing @ www.shadoepublishing.com or on my own website at www.kannemeinel.com

My current release is available with two different covers:

Blown Away 1000Blown Away The Alternate Cover.