Day 46 – B.S. Bestsellers

Brant rant time. Hopefully it’ll be a short one.

I’ve seen a few authors recently putting some bullshit on their covers, websites, and social media. They all say something along the lines of #1 BESTSELLER! That’s some bullshit right there. It’s deceptive and I can’t stand it. Legally, it’s all square, but morally… that’s another story.

Before I go off the rails, I’m not saying that an author who does this is a piece of trash. I’m purely talking about the marketing practice. We all do stuff we shouldn’t, so don’t find someone with #1 BESTSELLER on their cover and go after them. I’m just trying to open some eyes here, not start a witch hunt.

The first question for Mr. #1 here is… what exactly is this a bestseller in? It obviously isn’t a New York Times or USA Today Bestseller, because that would be plastered all over the cover. Rightly so. That’s a hard-earned designation that takes an enormous amount of sales. So what are we talking about here?

If I had to guess, it’s some granular category on Amazon. I’ve had lots of books hit #1 in Occult Horror Fiction and other such small niches. It’s nice to see your books up there, but I don’t think it gives you a free pass to plaster #1 Bestseller on your cover. Are you putting #1 Bestseller of Occult Horror on on your cover? No? Why not?

Because just using #1 Bestseller makes people think it’s more important than it actually is. You might trick people into thinking it’s a NYT Bestseller. That’s the bullshit part.

And I know some authors who do this will argue that it isn’t deceptive. Oh really? Then put what it’s #1 in. It isn’t that hard. But they don’t want to do that because it doesn’t carry the same clout.

I have another theory too.

The book in question might not have ever hit #1 in a category, but the author did at one point. So they slap #1 Bestseller on all their work, as if that’s earned somehow. A NYT Bestselling Author puts A NYT Bestselling Author on the cover. If the book hits #1, they put #1 NYT Bestseller.

See what I’m talking about? I”m rambling now, so I’ll stop.

But it does bug me. It’s bullshit. Just be honest.

Today, I edited 3 more chapters in Decayed. 6 or 7 more to go!

See ya tomorrow.