Becoming A Non-Bestselling Author
So, when I go to conferences or meet ups or different get-togethers, even sometimes online, if I’m in a particularly sarcastic mood I change around what I said I do just for fun. Recently, I have enjoyed telling people that I am the non-best-selling author. they look at me like I just said something wrong or I made a mistake. And they will say what or excuse me? I would say yeah, I am a non-best-selling author. And I will go silent and see what kind of response they will say. When they eventually inquire about it, I’ll say yeah, I’m the only one. Everybody else is best-selling author, I’m the only non-best-selling author. And they generally laugh and agree with me and say You know you’re right, everybody’s best-selling author these days. I say Yeah like everybody’s best-selling author.
My goal wasn’t to be a best-selling author and I wasn’t. So, I am a non-best-selling author, I wear that badge with honor. There is a reason. If there is an author’s listening, I am probably gonna piss a bunch of authors off here, but it is the truth. The whole best-selling author thing is a bunch of crap. Here’s why. It used to be that the New York Times best-selling author had a lot of prestige to it and still does. As I studied it. I saw how manipulated the system would become. I learned that you can buy your way onto that list. Now as a first-time author two years ago, going into this, I knew there was no way I was going to buy myself on to list nor do I want to. So, I started doing some research and what I learned was pretty disappointing. There been authors who spent up to $300,000 to get their books on the New York Times bestseller list and they didn’t even make it. They did all the bells and whistles. All the little tricks to the trade to make sure these people buy at this time or and if you buy it in bulk. Make sure a different person goes to a different address. It looks like it’s a thousand sales instead of one sale.
All these things that I knew absolutely nothing about that just gave me the creeps. It was so not what I thought I was reading when I see the bestseller list. I thought it was when the book comes up for sale and the most people buy it, that’s how it gets on the list. And then when you see the amount of bias and bribery and tomfoolery that goes into it, you realize that it is not what you want to be a part of. The pinnacles lower than that and these are just some of the reasons why I just didn’t care with my book launch.
When the New York Times thing became unattainable, Amazon, which was growing in stature, they filled the spot. They said okay now you can be an Amazon bestseller and you get your star stamp on the book and you could use that for social proof. So, to be an Amazon bestseller, your book needs to be in the top 100 of the categories that you are in. To be the number one Amazon bestseller, you have to be in the top spot. When you publish your book on Amazon, you get to choose the category. You get to choose the price when initially goes up for sale and there are hundreds and hundreds of categories going down to even the most specific niche. So, I think you might able see where I’m going here.
As I did my research for this, I came upon a guy named Brent Underwood who was also tired of this entire thing. So, he did a way better than just record a podcast ranting for a couple minutes about it. So, he decided he was going to prove how silly it was and how easy it was to become an Amazon bestseller. He became a number 1 Amazon bestseller for two dollars and a photo of his foot in less than five minutes. So, as he tells the story, he wasn’t really in the mood for writing a book. So, he just took a picture of his foot and he called the book Putting My Foot Down. So, he submitted it to Amazon and a few hours later, his book Putting My Foot Down was up on Amazon. He then texted one of his friends asking if you would buy the book. So, in the first three hours of launching it sold three copies, one to his friend and two to him. And under the category of the widely sought-after transpersonal psychology. Just hours later, he became a number one Amazon bestseller and did a quick screenshot before it all went away.
So, this story folks are one of many reasons why I am proud to call myself a non-best-selling author. You want to know why? Because I’m not a best-selling author. I did not put the book out that sold tens of thousands copies within a certain week, that made it to a list that was selected because of the merits of the book and because of the people that actually wanted to go buy it. And the allure of becoming a best-selling author, that instant gratification, that quick fix of doing something for the short term so you can wear that badge and tell people about it, but you know you might not have really earned it. So I understand very well how Brent wanted to put his foot down and write a book about putting his foot down and how ironic it is that he took so little effort and so little energy and just gain the system on purpose and became the number one Amazon bestseller just to show how silly the whole game is. If you want to be a best-selling author, that’s what you truly want, go write a book that’s amazing. Write a book that changes people. Write a book that makes people think, makes people grow, makes people get better, makes people want to share it because otherwise what’s the point? It’s just about you. It’s just about ego. It’s just about trying to feel important and getting something in the short term that we might not observed. But if you want to have a little fun, hop over Amazon pick up a copy of his book, Putting My Foot Down. It is a quick read. It is just a picture of his foot, but it made it to number one on Amazon.