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Could we turn a book into a bestseller?

edited May 2009 in - Reading
Could we turn a book into a bestseller?

If everyone on Talkback bought it. And they told their friends. And they told theirs. And everyone told their libraries/asked to borrow it. And told their reading groups and writers' groups. And gave it as a birthday/Christmas present. And wrote reviews on Amazon. And ... Well, you get the idea.

Could we?

Would it snowball - or would it stand a snowball's chance in hell?

Obviously I would like one of my books to be 'chosen', but I can see that there might be a few teensy, weensy problems with the subject matter. Hmm. Maybe a young adult book?


  • How many do you have to sell to be a bestseller now days?
  • I don't know if there's a definition/number. On Amazon, it sort of depends on the category.
  • I always considered 100,000 to be a bestseller.
  • That many...:(
  • Only another 99,999 to go.
  • so how many active users are on Talkback? theres 1321, if they all came on theyd need to get a hundred people to buy them each. No problem!
  • I've just done some reading and it's all to do with getting on a bestseller list - so it depends on week by week sales rather than a set number. Wonder where I got that figure from?
  • edited May 2009
    Unfortunately the active members both regular and occasional must be about thirty or forty. But we don't know how many are signed up to read but never post, and how many are signed up but don't visit anymore.
  • even if you dont post the account page says when you last signed in at the 'last active' bit. so you can get some idea. I would estimate maybe 100 active members?
  • did you mean 30 or 40 in number? i thought you meant age first! nah, I think its a bit more.
  • It may be, I was just going on recognisable names that post.
  • I started a post about it. I really wonder.
  • Talking about old names I see that Candy has been lurking around again a few weeks ago (still moderated though, she must have really ticked Jon off.)
  • I have wondered about it. There has to be at least 50 if not more.
  • I would actually say more like 20.
  • If you think about it, if you record say, from about 7am to about 7pm, I know at least, I dunno.

  • well there's 12 so far
  • KJKJ
    edited May 2009
    13 now?
  • 13? I've got 15.
  • hm, 20 in one night. Seems theres more active TBers than many realise.
  • I don't think we could. Unless it was an utterly brilliant book, like 'The Road' or something. The recommendations would peter out otherwise somewhere down the road when there was no connection to Talkback any more.
  • I know some bookworms; but not a lot. Then I know people who read books I would quite happily burn . . .
  • edited May 2009
  • edited May 2009
  • Dora, what are you doing to me?
  • Sorry Stirling

    I saw FMN's other post and didn't want to step on her toes.

  • yeah, you're probably right. Still like the idea though.

    Wait, this reminds me of this comedian I like - David O' Doherty - he wanted to see if he could get a music hit at #27 in the Irish charts, in a similar way we are discussing. Only certain stores count weekly towards the charts, and it only counts if there is an interval of something like 20mins, so if he did a promotion at a store and everyone there bought it, it would only count as one purchase for the charts, if you understand what I mean. Anyway, he found out what stores counted and he and all his friends in different towns walked back and forth between two of these shops buying a cd every 20mins. He reached #30, nearly his goal.

    While that is all to do with music, the rambling is meant to say that perhaps it is possible.
  • step on my toes? *quirks eyebrow*
  • If (dream on, Rosalie...) Low Tide Lunan Bay became a bestseller it would be thanks in a large part to the efforts of all my friends, including you good folk on here who have ordered my book for libraries, etc. Even if it doesn't hit the heights... I'm still enormously grateful :)
  • it seems (re: Stirling's comments on Candy) some TBers can't stay away, can they? This pesky site is addictive, for sure! Which makes me sad that some stay a while, contribute and then go and we never hear from them again.
  • Why not the TalkBack Anthology if it ever kicks off?
  • I did wonder about that myself ...
  • But anthologies don't seem to be covered by plr.
  • No, but it would be good to encourage books that a reader can dip into...
  • It would be great to do an experiment of making an unknown book a best seller. Wonder if it would work? It would be great news for an unknown author.
  • What we have to do is create a scandal. Perhaps we could sue each other for plaguerism? (Wish I had a spellcheck on here, apologies...)
  • Soft g (sounds like jet, not go), therefore has to be (usually) an 'e' or an 'i' directly afterwards. Plagiarism. And the lady's names are tricky, too.
  • [quote=Emma B]It would be great to do an experiment of making an unknown book a best seller. Wonder if it would work? It would be great news for an unknown author. [/quote]

    Then if it did work someone could write another book about how it worked!
  • And another person could write a book called, "How to write books about creating bestsellers"!
  • 87 on the 'sticky' survey so far.

    And we could ask libraries to make it their 'book of the month'.
  • edited June 2009
    [quote=Jay Mandal]87 on the 'sticky' survey so far.[/quote]

    Ceka's on there 3 times and Dorothy twice, which means the '87' is actually '84', Jay.
  • edited June 2009
    I sort of allowed for that. I think there are some people who are new &/or who didn't post.

    And now we've both posted twice! :-(
  • On the sticky thread? No we haven't. ??
  • have you noticed that some names in the sticky have already disappeared? It isn't a true reflection of how many active members there are, unfortunately, as we lose new people very quickly sometimes. What do you think the average is, maybe 1 in 5 or less than that?
  • Well it is a true reflection as we always have new members who disappear, so at any one time there will always be some...!!
  • [quote=Hubble]Why not the TalkBack Anthology if it ever kicks off? [/quote]

    What you mean "IF" it ever takes off ???!! ;)

    This book is earmarked for the best seller of the century - not sure which one exactly, but time will tell ! :)
  • Whoops! You're right, IG. Mea culpa.
  • Oh dear, sorry, didn't mean to cock the thing up! Must be my multiple personality
  • Up to 99 now!
  • [quote=Emma B]It would be great to do an experiment of making an unknown book a best seller. Wonder if it would work? It would be great news for an unknown author. [/quote]

    This is exactly what publishers attempt to do every day.

    The only sure-fire way to make a book a best-seller is to make sure that the book is excellent to start off with, is in a very popular genre, and then throw a lot of money at it. It works suprisingly well.
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