According to industry professionals, as cited by Wikipedia, "A bestseller is a book that is identified as extremely popular by its inclusion on lists of currently top selling titles that are based on publishing industry and book trade figures and published by newspapers, magazines, or bookstore chains."
Bestseller lists may vary widely, depending on the method used for calculating sales. Some lists, including The New York Times Best Seller list only tracks National and Independent book stores; it does not include sales from Internet retailers or box stores such as Walmart or Target, or critically, library sales. The Book Sense bestseller lists, for example, use only sales numbers, provided by independently-owned (non-chain) bookstores. And USA Today has only one list, not separated into fiction/non-fiction and hardcover/paperback, so that relative sales among these categories can be ascertained.
Perhaps the most accurate best-seller list are the lists compiled by the industry's Wholesalers such as Baker & Taylor, Ingram, Brodart, Bookazine, and Levy (previously Koen-Levy) since these lists account for total sales to all distribution channels (independent stores, chains, box stores, on-line, and critically, the library market).
I am very pleased to say that each book I have previously released has hit and maintained itself on an assortment of industry wholesaler best-selling lists.
As an independent author and publisher, this accomplishment is by no means a small task, and I take great pride in knowing that my various book releases has achieved the same type of distribution that is available to a select group of well-established authors.
With anticipation on how the publishing industry and book consumption was expected to evolve from the traditional publisher and solely printed books, to the revolution of the E-book and how electronic purchasing would eventually become the primary way which consumers would obtain their reading material, I was very conscious of not selling my various rights to the numerous publishing houses that sought my works. Instead, I remained loyal to my personal perspective that it was prudent for me to hold onto my copyrighted material, particularly since I was able to print large quantities of quality books and I had created a very strong distribution system that allowed my products to be placed when released.
Three challenges an independent publisher/writer faces when considering to remain independent or to participate in a publishing house are whether their writing is appealing and has commercial viability, whether the writer has real national and international distribution that can have their publication placed in national and international chain and independent book retailers as well as libraries, and, finally, if the writer has the ability to publish a large quantity of books and then, assuming books sales are brisk, go back to print again and again (I have never gone to print with a book with less than 15,000 hardcover units, and, on several of my books, I have gone back to print on several occassions).
In retrospect, and looking into the immediate future, my decision to remain independent in lieu of the changes that were occurring and evolving in the publishing world have been correct for many reasons. Obviously, the advent to the E-book has every established author wishing that they controlled their copyrighted material in E-book format. Many do not, as they are typically sold with the hardcover rights to a publishing house. In my case, I am please to know that I am in a very unique position of only now (beginning in the Fall of 2011) choosing to release each of my previously hardcover books in E-book format in multiple languages. This is an extraordinarily exciting time indeed, particularly since each of my novels, though always evolving around current topics, has a timeless quality to it that I believe readers everywhere will connect to!
Before I go any further, I want to thank my many reader fans who have found my writing to be of high entertaining value. It is only because of the large support that I have received that I have been able to remain an independent author possessing a very strong global reach. Thank you! I promise the best is yet to come!
As far as being a best-selling author, previous book releases have done extraordinarily well by all publishing standards.
This included 'War On Wall Street', which maintained a #1 position on Koen's Independent publisher best-selling list for three weeks, while staying at anywhere from #5 to # 8 in the overall general fiction 'best seller' category during a 6 week time period. 'War On Wall Street' was my first book. It was my beginning. And it was the book that in many ways saved my life. For those of you who don't know this: I was fighting a serious cancer fight I was not expected to win when I decided to write a book to my soon-to-arrive son. It was in the love I held and hold for him that I found the strength to get up every day and wrte a few pages. Inevitably, that desire caused me to get stronger . . . and to heal. So, when I share that writing saved my life, you now understand how.
'Cloning Christ', over a 58 week period, stayed on the industry's leading wholesaler, Ingram, best-selling fiction list (top 25) for a total of 12 weeks, which is an incredible feat, including being ranked as high as #5 on their overall general fiction best-seller charts as well as being on Koen's top best seller lists for four weeks.
'The Den of The Assassin' was included in Koen's # 1 Independent best-seller list for three weeks while also maintaining a position in the general fiction best-seller list during the same period.
With 'Chasing The Cyclone' being released during the later part of 2011, I fully anticipate that this publication will hit an assortment of best-seller lists.
The consistency of readers across the globe who have embraced my writing has never been lost on me. I am extremely thankful for all the kind words and encouragement I have received throughout the years.
As for the future, I anticipate remaining an 'independent author'. I enjoy controlling all the aspects of publishing my books and have been fortunate to be able to print very large hardcover units whenever I have released a book. Juxtaposing this aspects of the publishing business is that through the years, and through the successes of each book, I have created a distribution system I am very proud of.
And what is so exciting is that the show on the world's greatest writers that I was in pre-production of before I had to chase into the cyclones of international child abduction today is where I knew it would be once I found and brought home my son.
I have also been able to have some unique freedom that has allowed me to work on some rather important personal goals such as my advocacy in the child abduction prevention arena. Specifically, I was able to co-author and publish the extensively researched resource guide on child abduction prevention titled 'The World Turned Upside Down' and offer it to the world for FREE!
Now you may ask, "Why did I do this?"
The answer is simple: in order to help other parents and their children. I take my social responsibility seriously, as I conveyed in the story about my adopted grandfather, Rabbi Morton Kohn. Along the way, the I CARE Foundation and I have helped rescue more than a few children who were internationally kidnapped.
I found it critically important to be able to provide the information contained in this resource guide to anyone and everyone who may need it at the time that they need it because at the end of the day what was important to both me and Carolyn Vlk (who co-authored this book) was the issue of being able to protect children.
Again, thank you for all of your generous support and kind words over the years. And as I said earlier, the best is yet to come!
Peter Thomas Senese