There are a lot of lists out there and to be honest with you, I cannot wrap my brain around how they work. It seems like a crap shoot most of the time how a book gets on one but you can be certain that the most popular authors with the big publishing houses behind them will be on there first.
It's not as easy of a trek for us indie authors.
I write, I publish. After that it's anyone's guess on where those books will show up and on what lists. I have been blessed enough to hit the "bestseller" status on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble with my books but there is no formula to guarantee that.
Frustrating as all get-out, I can tell you that!
I have yet to hit a point where I am comfortable spending a lot of money on marketing and promoting my work. I know plenty of authors do it and I commend them on it and they do see results but I am too scared to spend too much money at this point in my career and then have it not work. I'll get there some day, just not right now. So by marketing you get seen by more people, the more people that see you the more they may be inclined to buy your work. The more people that buy your work, the better your sales stats, blah, blah, blah and then there you are on a list. I get that but what I find amazing is the vast difference in rankings.
What do I mean? Okay, this morning my newest book "Trust in Me" is number 32 on Barnesandnoble.com. And not just in romance! No! It is #32 on the site! That is pretty freakin exciting, right? I mean, top 100! There are some seriously big named authors on there all around me! So I get all giddy and excited and dance around the house and then I jump over to Amazon.com and there is the same book, released the same day and where is "Trust in Me" on their list? I'm number 1406. The book is only .99 cents on both sites so it's not like one has the advantage over one another but if you do the math, clearly there's a difference.
A big difference.
Now I understand that the two sites really are vastly different. For me, when I think of a physical bookstore, I think Barnes and Noble. But online? It's Amazon all the way. So that takes a little of the shine off of my bestseller glory because it's a ranking on a smaller site. People look at you a little bit more - or take you a little more seriously as a writer - if you are an Amazon best seller.
And don't even get me started on the NY Times or USA Today lists. I haven't even figured those two out. If there is a way to get your book on there, I haven't found it. Although, I am working on a collection/box set with several other indie authors and as of late, collections like this HAVE gotten onto the USA Today list. We'll also be paying a decent amount of money to be seen so maybe that's a big part of it.
I know, I know, you gotta spend money to make money, blah, blah, blah. Someday I'll do it.
Then you have the Goodreads lists or the Shelfari lists...it's exhausting. Can somebody please just buy the books and save me from obsessing over the lists??