First, an aside. A PSA for women who need jeans with room in the ass (without that big gap in the back). Zappos is currently having a sale on Levis and they HAVE THE 529 style jeans made for curvy women (the one the people at the Levi’s outlet told me last year were being discontinued). I already bought 2 more pair. Check it!
Now, something I’ve noticed is this trend for self published authors to describe their work as an Amazon or Kindle Best Seller. Now, to me that means that their book made it to the Top 100 OVERALL in the Kindle store. Why? Because that’s hard and really means something.
But there are a fair number of people who have been applying the term to CATEGORY best-sellers. I think this is incredibly misleading to readers. Here’s why.
When you list a book through KDP, you have the option of picking two categories for your book. Let’s take Red for example. When I first listed it, I picked Children’s eBooks–>Fairy Tales, Folklore, and Myth (logical) and Children’s e-Books–>Literature–>Love and Romance (also logical given the subject matter of the book). Now the latter category encompasses almost everything I read in YA and it’s INCREDIBLY competitive. VERY hard to get on that list (so to my mind, it’s actually one of the few categories that would mean something in terms of a best seller ranking). I think I edged on to the bottom end of it when I first released Red last year. And I’ve spent large chunks of time on the Fairy Tales, Folklore, and Myth category list (number 75 as of the time of writing).
Now being on category lists is a good thing. The idea being that being on a list increases your visibility to readers. When I was prowling Amazon the other day looking for what the popular werewolf YA currently is so I could write some promo tweets, I saw several of them listed in Childrens e-Books–>Animals–>Foxes and Wolves. As I’m nowhere near the top 100 on the Love and Romance subset, I thought, what the heck, I’ll change it. Did that on Tuesday. Yesterday I showed up on the Foxes and Wolves list at number 7. I’m not suddenly selling drastically better than yesterday. It’s just a less competitive list.
Now thinking about this realistically, it seems highly unlikely that anybody looking for YA werewolf stories would actually LOOK on this list. But I’m on it, toward the top, and some people might take that as sufficient qualification to list Red as a Kindle Best Seller–because nobody ever says it’s a category best seller and lists the category it was a best seller IN. Hell, Devil’s Eye spent more than a month in the number 1 slot in Bargain e-Books the year it released. I’ve never called it a Kindle Best Seller. I just don’t feel it’s justified.
Because I know that there are people who do this, who pick some random, obscure category that nobody in their logical right mind would ever go hunting in for that particular book, just to get a higher ranking, I find that if a book claims to be a Kindle best seller, I don’t actually factor that in to my purchase. I’m far more likely to consider reviews, the sample, etc.
What about you? Do you feel that the term Kindle Best Seller actually MEANS anything? Would it factor in to your likelihood of buying a particular book? I’m curious if others are as skeptical as I, or more forgiving.