Any industry person can tell you these lists have their problems. There’s a barely concealed editorial bias. Bookscan, the database that tabulates book sales, inexplicably doesn’t include Amazon’s ebook sales. There’s even the possibility of manipulation, as outlined in a 2013 Wall Street Journal article called “The Mystery of the Book Sales Spike.” Still, they remain relatively hard to crack. In most cases, your book not only has to be good enough for a legitimate publisher to publish it, but you have to outsell all the other books out there, past and present, even if you’re paying for it out of your pocket. We’ve had clients sell close to 10,000 copies in a single week and miss landing on these charts.
Behind the Scam: What Does It Take to Be a ‘Best-Selling Author’? $3 and 5 Minutes.
Brent Underwood
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I never knew that the “Best Seller” labels on books nowadays are so inaccurate. I have always assumed that most, if not all best-sellers are quality books worth a shot since so many others have bought and likely read them. However, it didn’t occur to me that the sales can be faked or manipulated and therefore the rankings may be highly inaccurate and lacked the credibility. What’s more is I definitely did not expect it to be as easy as how the author has described to make it into the “best sellers”.

This, in my opinion, poses a serious problem for both avid book readers and for those who are trying to get into reading, because those who relied on “best-sellers” to find a book to read, which I bet many of them do, just like myself, are likely to find books of quality that do not exactly befit their “title” and are of substandard. For avid readers, this will then be a waste of their money and time; and as for those who wanted to get into reading, may lose interest in books after a while as well due to the disappointment in these supposed “best sellers”.

I truly hope that relevant organisations would put in some checks to ensure the accuracy of the “best sellers” list, or even come up with one fairly unbiased list for all the readers out there.

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