As the year draws to a close, authors across the world have had their eyes peeled for the year’s bestseller’s list to see how far up the list their novel came. As we said in a blog recently, the bestseller’s list isn’t the be all and end all of novel writing, but one can’t lie and say that seeing one’s name on it doesn’t give a little thrill.
This week, Apple released their bestseller’s list of top iBooks sold online, revealing that self-published authors have dominated the free book chart, with critically acclaimed books such as Natasha Preston’s Silence reaching the number three slot, and The New Girl by Tracie Puckett achieving number four. Other self-published authors including Portia Moore (If I Break) and Terry Schott (The Game) also made the top ten.
And it’s not just the free book list which self-published authors, or at least those that started out that way, found their acclaim this year. One of the most famous self-published authors of recent years, now published by Arrow, E.L. James of course published another book in her Fifty Shades of Grey series, and although this time it wasn’t self-published, it certainly showed where self-published authors can find themselves as her latest instalment was number one on Apple iBooks’ UK bestseller list, and number two on Amazon’s 2015 bestseller list which includes both Kindle and physical book purchases.
We have spoken before about how the success of E.L. James has bred a succession of self-published authors hoping to achieve the same amount of fame that she accomplished, and it seems that her success is going to continue to spur on wannabe self-publishers. As she proved, anybody who has an idea can write a book, but it’s what you do with it that counts. Find a niche, write something that people want to read, and publish it, no matter what the critics think. It’s unlikely that a few years later you’ll be publishing under a traditional publishing house, and have four books in the top five of Amazon’s 2015 Bestseller List, but you never know.
And if you need some help in your writing, why don’t you take a break and read something to give you inspiration? Take a leaf out of the rest of the reading world’s book, and perhaps try one of the other top five books of the year, such as The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee or The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. As we’ve said before, it’s not reading that’s difficult, it’s finding the time to do so. So make sure you make some!