First, a big “thank you” to B.E. for inviting me to be a guest today. She knows I’m always yapping about something and is kind enough to give me the occasional forum on which to spout my thoughts.
On Friday of the past several weeks, and with more to come, I’ve been posting my “Bucket List of 100 Things”—ten items at a time over on my blog: PENUMBRA. A good number of them involve writing—from meeting my favorite authors to actually, you know, SELLING a book. The list was originally written five years ago. As I post, I mark through the things I’ve accomplished. And yes, I’ve sold three books and three novellas to a publisher, plus self-published six others. I’ve also met most of my idols.
However, one elusive item on the list is to have a book on the New York Times best seller list. I’d be happy with the USA Today list. Then I could add “Best-Selling Author” to my covers and bio. Another designation one sometimes sees in conjunction with an author is “Award-winning.”
Today, I want to muse upon my thoughts about this. What actually constitutes a “best-selling author” and/or “award-winning”? Does a writer have to make it to the big two lists? What about other lists? Like Amazon? Or Barnes and Noble? Publisher’s Weekly? Newspapers besides the New York Times? There are a LOT of lists out there. Google “Best seller lists” to get an idea. With so many lists out there, when can an author start adding that appellation to their name? I wish I knew. I’ve made the Amazon list with almost every one of my Moonstruck books. In fact, I’ve made several of their lists with them. At one point, BLOOD MOON, the first in the series was on four different lists between Kindle and Books. Since this series is digital only, I was sort of impressed it made the “Book” lists.
But that leads me back to, what exactly constitutes a “best-selling author?” Is there some etiquette involved? Can you just say “best-selling” without mentioning which list? Or would a writer need to clarify by saying “NYT best-selling” or “Amazon best-selling.” And does it really matter? Would a reader be more inclined to pick up a book with that notice on the cover?
And awards. Which awards? The RWA RITAs? Edgars? Hugos? Agathas? National Reader’s Choice Awards? The International Digital Awards? Okay, those last two are sponsored by OKRWA, a Romance Writers of America chapter, though the NRCA is about to celebrate its 25th year and this is only the second year for the IDAs. And the others are all for genre fiction. I don’t even want to get into the list of awards for literary novels. I mention the IDAs because I learned over the weekend that I won and placed second in the Paranormal Short category with BLOOD MOON and BAD MOON, placed second the Paranormal Novel category with HUNTER'S MOON, and placed fifth in the Short Contemporary category with BEST LAID PLANS. Whew! That's a mouthful!
What does this have to do with being an unpublished writer? I believe we ALL think about selling and winning in a big way. It’s part of our dreaming process, our “Someday I’ll be/do” list. If it’s not, it should be. Why settle for dreams of just being a mid-list author? That’s where we may all end up but… Why not believe in yourself and your book(s)? Trust me, if you don’t, no one else will. And that’s what it all boils down to, as far as I’m concerned. Writers have to have faith in what they’re writing. You have to believe that with each book you write, you’ll get better. You’ll hone your skills. Write like you belong on the best-seller lists. Write like you will win awards. And who knows? Someday, your bio might just say, “Best-selling, award-winning author.”
And because I have a new book out, which is on the top 100 Kindle Military Romance List, I’ll give a $5.00 Amazon gift card to one random commenter so they can buy the award-winning BLOOD MOON, book one in the best-selling Moonstruck series, with some left over for other books, including ROGUE MOON!
BLURB for ROGUE MOON (Moonstruck #6):
Thank you, Silver, for being here.
And everyone else? Don't forget to comment for a chance to win that gift card!