Sunday, May 23, 2010

Top Ten List - Actual Numbers or Teacher's Pet?

I was scrolling through my e-loops, and a comment caught my eye.  It was a question about publishers' Top Ten lists.  In short, a person was asking the question, "Is a top ten list actually based on the number of sales, or is it more of a teacher's pet list?"

Needless to say, the remark stung.  More so because I'm also a teacher, and the term is a slap in the face.

I don't know if it's just me, or if other people feel it, too, but it seems that authors who aren't selling are quick to condemn those who do.  I wanted to jump in and ask the person (also an author) if they're advertising.  Do they have a web presence?  What are they doing to promote their book? 

Finally, are they writing a story that will sell?  One of the best things about epubs is that they'll take a chance on authors who write a good story, but there may not be a huge market for it.

In the beginning, when I was just becoming published, my books weren't huge sellers.  But at no time did I look at the top ten list on my publisher's website and say that those authors were there because they had an "in" with the boss.  I looked at it and swore to myself that one day I'd get on the list.  And once that happened, my next goal was to hit the #1 slot.

I have a very good friend who has sat by and watched me build a successful writing career.  Now it's her turn to rise in the ranks and earn the nice paychecks, and I'm cheering her on.  Our success is not based on being friends with the publisher.  It comes because we work our tails off.  We finally found our "niche", and our readership is growing.

And to those authors who are quick to condemn us, or belittle our efforts, God bless you.

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