So, it’s been about three weeks since Duty and Desire, Book 1, Winds of Fire series, broke into the Amazon Bestsellers list in 3—yes 3 categories!
#14 Historical Asian Fiction
#25 Asian American Literature
#65 Asian American Literature and Fiction
When the book cracked that glass ceiling, I squealed, convinced my eyes were seeing things or playing tricks.
So, I refreshed the page and squealed again.
The ranking was real.
I watched as the little book climbed up in those 3 categories and settled on the numbers 14, 25 and 65.
The surrounding books on the Amazon Bestsellers List were an even greater honor to be in the company of… like ‘The Mountains Sing’ by Nguyen Phan Que Mai, ‘Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet’ by Jamie Ford, ‘Silk Road’ by Colin Falconer, ‘The Joy Luck Club’ by Amy Tan, ‘The Island of Sea Women’ by Lisa See and many, many more.
The little drop of success made me think hard. What does it mean to be a bestseller?
Well, according to advice from Amazon Bestselling Author and marketing guru, Lainey Cameron, EXIT STRATEGY, Lainey has some great ideas in an interview on my Youtube channel, STORY MANTRA.
Professionals in the publishing industry say the bestseller ranking is a numbers game. That’s right. Numbers. Funny, to think that the strength of your words and story are determined by numbers. However, Amazon’s algorithm is also a huge determining factor, and no one knows quite how that works.
Except Amazon, I guess.
Ask a reader and you will get a different answer. Readers are looking for a compelling read. A book that will suck them in. Characters that leap off the page and are three-dimensional. Real. Readers want stories that resonate with their hearts, keep them thinking late into the night and offer them escape. Escape from the real world into an alternate world.
I guess, in many ways that’s why I write. Because I’m in search of a compelling story that will suck me in. Characters leap from my imagination and onto paper. I have to work to make them three-dimensional and find their story. Characters find me and resonate with my heart. They keep me thinking late into the night and offer me escape. Escape from the real world into an alternate world.
I look back and I still can’t believe Duty and Desire cracked the Amazon Bestsellers list.
What’s harder to believe is that we’re reading and writing for the same reasons? Perhaps, in search of one another?
If there’s one thing I’ve learned, a writer is a writer until (s)he has an audience.
All it takes is one reader and no matter what’s on the page, the writer becomes an author. And if you’ve sold that story to the reader… really sold the story… and the reader loves what you wrote and can’t wait to read your next book… doesn’t that automatically make you a bestseller? Because you sold the book in the best way you possibly could.