Author Topic: Bestseller status?  (Read 959 times)  

Offline Parker Rimes

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Bestseller status?
« on: March 07, 2018, 11:37:37 PM »
I apologize if this is a particularly stupid question but when can I splash "Bestseller!" across my cover? Does it have to hit the Top 100 Amazon in Kindles sold in any category even if only for one day?
What if it hits the top 100 in some deep down sub-category? Do I have to qualify this bestseller status by noting the sub-category?
Is Top 100 the magic number, or does Top 250 count?
If this has been covered before (of course it has) can anyone point me to the right thread? Thanks.


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Online Amanda M. Lee

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Re: Bestseller status?
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2018, 04:41:45 AM »
Amazon doesnt want you to use this title ever and will push back. Still, this has been debated quite a bit, you need to hit the overall top 100 of the store (not a category but the top 100 overall) and even then be prepared for Amazon to push back.

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Offline MelanieCellier

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Re: Bestseller status?
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2018, 05:17:21 AM »
As Amanda said, this has been debated a fair bit and plenty of people have different opinions. It seems to me that now that Amazon actually has their own official bestseller list (Amazon Charts), that this should be the marker of an Amazon bestseller.

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Online PhoenixS

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Re: Bestseller status?
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2018, 06:04:11 AM »
I was going to post some urls of previous discussions here, but there are quite a few and I'm not reviewing them to find the best ones.

So, simply copy/past the following into google, and you'll be able to read through a number of comments and threads on KBoards on the topic:

kboards.com can i call myself a bestseller

Offline Kay Bratt

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Re: Bestseller status?
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2018, 06:32:21 AM »
I'll never forget being put in my place once when I spotted an author page by a popular author and it was fancier than mine. She had a photographic banner across the top, etc.. and the page just looked more professional. I asked my editor at Amazon Publishing (he was the first official acquisitions editor of all imprints) if I could have one like that for my author page, and he said I had to be an official bestseller. I asked him what that meant and he said I had to sell more than 100,000 copies of one specific title. It was in my early days and I backed away quietly. From that moment on, I have always thought of an Amazon bestseller as a book that has sold more than 100k copies. And yes, I know that we all have our own opinion on the subject.

Fast forward to present day and I've hit that milestone a few times, yet that editor is retired and I no longer see those fancy author pages.





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Offline Parker Rimes

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Re: Bestseller status?
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2018, 01:50:11 PM »
Amazon doesnt want you to use this title ever and will push back. Still, this has been debated quite a bit, you need to hit the overall top 100 of the store (not a category but the top 100 overall) and even then be prepared for Amazon to push back.

I guess if ever I hit that spot even briefly I can claim "Was once a bestseller!"


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Offline Parker Rimes

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Re: Bestseller status?
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2018, 01:51:31 PM »
As Amanda said, this has been debated a fair bit and plenty of people have different opinions. It seems to me that now that Amazon actually has their own official bestseller list (Amazon Charts), that this should be the marker of an Amazon bestseller.

Oh sure. I meant only referring to Amazon's charts.


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Offline Parker Rimes

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Re: Bestseller status?
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2018, 01:52:45 PM »
I was going to post some urls of previous discussions here, but there are quite a few and I'm not reviewing them to find the best ones.

So, simply copy/past the following into google, and you'll be able to read through a number of comments and threads on KBoards on the topic:

kboards.com can i call myself a bestseller

Thank you PhoenixS. Will do.


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Offline Parker Rimes

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Re: Bestseller status?
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2018, 01:58:29 PM »
I'll never forget being put in my place once when I spotted an author page by a popular author and it was fancier than mine. She had a photographic banner across the top, etc.. and the page just looked more professional. I asked my editor at Amazon Publishing (he was the first official acquisitions editor of all imprints) if I could have one like that for my author page, and he said I had to be an official bestseller. I asked him what that meant and he said I had to sell more than 100,000 copies of one specific title. It was in my early days and I backed away quietly. From that moment on, I have always thought of an Amazon bestseller as a book that has sold more than 100k copies. And yes, I know that we all have our own opinion on the subject.

Fast forward to present day and I've hit that milestone a few times, yet that editor is retired and I no longer see those fancy author pages.

It sounds like Amazon have a figure in mind as well as a ranking. They may have raised the figure over the years.


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Offline MelanieCellier

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Re: Bestseller status?
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2018, 06:59:52 PM »
Oh sure. I meant only referring to Amazon's charts.

Just to clarify, when I said Amazon Charts, I meant this: https://www.amazon.com/charts not the regular category and overall bestseller lists that change hourly. (Amazon Charts is a relatively new Amazon initiative, sort of like the USA Today weekly list or whatnot but just for Amazon books, and it includes a most read list as well as a most sold list based on their ability to track what people are actually reading on their kindles. I find it reasonably interesting, although they might as well have made it top 15 most read excluding Harry Potter rather than top 20 most read :P)

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Offline Wisescarab

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Re: Bestseller status?
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2018, 10:48:01 PM »
This has always been a loaded topic. Personally, nowadays I pretty much go along with what Kay there said.

Off topic, I wish there was a real alternative to Amazon.

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Online Patty Jansen

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Re: Bestseller status?
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2018, 11:03:24 PM »
I prefer to handle it like this:

When something is truly a bestseller, the number of reviews and/or ranking and social proof will make this self-evident on the page. If the author has to advertise "bestseller!" then it most likely isn't.

Unless there is a measurable, provable metric that people can look up (like USAT, but since you could pretty much buy those a while back, what are they worth?), I prefer other people to make that call on my behalf. "Bestselling author" tends to look much less pretentious when it comes from someone who is not the author :P

Offline she-la-ti-da

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Re: Bestseller status?
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2018, 06:08:38 AM »
As a reader, I ignore "best seller" claims, same as those notes about winning some contest or other I never heard of. It's always been possible to buy one's way onto whatever list, or to garner wins in contests. I'm sure some readers still like to read USAT or NYT best seller books, but they don't know what's behind all that stuff. If it makes them happy, though, so be it.
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