Publishing Advice: Tip # 13 Identifying yourself as a “Bestselling Author.”


Ocean View Press

If you identify yourself as a Bestselling Author, you had better have the evidence to back that statement up. There are a varied number of Bestseller lists, most notable the New York Times Bestseller List. In which case you could label yourself as a New York Times Bestselling Author. If you are indeed on that list, it’s not very difficult for any one person to track you down. Unless, of course, you aren’t really on that list. Then, well, how embarrassing for you, right?

We see it everyday on social media. An author promotes themselves or their book as a Bestseller. And as I’m certain a large percentage of those writers are being truthful in their marketing, there are several authors that I’ve found playing fast and loose with the moniker. So let’s go over what does and doesn’t justify the prestigious honor of calling oneself, a Bestselling Author.

New York Times Bestseller List – whether you are self-published or traditionally published, keep this in mind. Most traditional publishing houses who esteem their reputation, refrain from printing NYT Bestseller on the cover UNLESS said author has made the PRINT list in the Times. Not all books on the list get printed in the actual newspaper. Therefor, most publishers won’t put themselves out there unless their author(s) have a proven track record of consistently making the list.

National Bestseller– What this means is the author’s book was listed in one of the two largest book retailers in the United States, Books a Million and Barnes and Noble’s internal Bestseller list. This, in my opinion, is the better of all the lists to be placed on, because it reflects actual book sales, not speculation in the NY Times’ case.

USA. Today Bestseller List– the data collected for this list is very similar to the NY Times. USA collects the top 150 bestsellers of the week and lists the first 50 in their print edition. Same as the Times, most publishers only print the Bestseller moniker on the book if you’ve made the top 50.

Amazon – It’s becoming more acceptable to place Amazon or Kindle Bestseller in front of your name online or in print. Just remember, sales ranking info is accessible to anyone who browses Amazon, so if you say you had a Bestseller on Amazon’s Bestseller list, your name and book had better be on that list.

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One thought on “Publishing Advice: Tip # 13 Identifying yourself as a “Bestselling Author.”

  1. Great info! I learned about the differences between these lists. The one I see the most is NY Times Bestseller so I’m glad to know the criteria for the ones you listed. Thank you.

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