My next book will be called 55 layers of Green, how is that for a catchy name? It's not Grey, it's not 50... I think that will bring it to the top of the list. The Best Selling list, not the Best book list, they are mutually exclusive. Neither one is easy to make. The skills necessary to be in either list are different.
A best seller is like a successful TV show. It does not have to be good; it only needs to be watched/read by a number of people, it has to be popular. Do the Kardashians do anything worth watching, anything worth taping and making a show of? I don’t think so, I never watched the show, but just to hear any of them for a few minutes in an interview lets me know I will never be able to sit through any part of the show. However, they are popular. Anything and everything they put out with their last name, as useless as it may be, reaches high sales. You might say the reviews are lousy, it doesn’t matter, they make money and after all, that’s what they want.
Same as some Best Sellers and popular books I have read, many of them not worth getting printed; Saving Graces was a major disappointment with all the name dropping and the insignificant details Edwards shares with the readers, but she was known and her book made it to the bestselling list. Cashing on fame some actors and politicians think their story is worth publishing like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Total Recall; personally I am not interested in reading about Arnold’s life of infidelities or anybody’s.
To be a Best Seller, an author must be discovered by someone willing to invest in their talent or lack of. It does not have to be a Good Book. It just has to catch someone’s attention. There are wonderful stories to be discovered like J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter that become a best seller in spite of the overuse of adverbs, and there are other stories like E.J. James’ poorly written 50 Shades that through a window into soft porn become the best seller of present times. Some might argue they became popular because they touched people in a way others didn’t, I think they were lucky enough to be discovered and therefore, became known; Harry Potter was unique, but the soft/mommy porn of E.J. is nothing new.
Regardless of the reasons why or how a book becomes a best seller, it has little to do with being a best book. Mine won’t, yours probably won’t, and it’s not because yours or mine are not good books, they have not been discovered by someone willing to invest in them, yet.