The term ‘Best Seller’ and ‘Bestselling’ are popular terms amongst authors, publishers, writers, readers, and many others that have a business with reading and writing books. A bestselling book has often been defined by several writers, publishers, journal, magazines, and what a view, as different things so the term bestselling means various things to different people, institutes, publishers, and media, several of them have placed their criteria for a bestselling book at varying heights, level of achievement or sales. But what exactly is a bestselling book? Or should we say what exactly makes a bestselling book?

As the term is a combination of two words which are ‘best-selling’ understandably, the term best-seller will mean the book with the best or largest amount of sales with reference the books category, so that means if an author writes a book on finance and it hits a 15,000 sales in the week and other books are doing very well than the new book is doing it doesn’t make the book a best seller yet though it depends on the platform used for the sales and the criteria used in generating the bestselling list.

What Makes a Bestseller?

As stated by Wikipedia, “a best seller book or other media noted for its top-selling status, with bestseller lists published by newspapers, magazines, and book store chains.” Some lists are broken down into classification and specialties (Novel, Nonfiction Book, Fiction, etc.). A book may be referred to as a bestselling book if their work often appears in a list, using the U.S as a standard the best-sellers are published by Publishers Weekly, USA Today, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.
The bestselling list is drafted by tracking book sales from national and independent bookstores, as well as some major internet book retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and more.

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The bestsellers are based on a list of a boom in sales of a book in a period so a book can be a one week New York Times bestseller within its first week of release and never come up with such an amount of sales again while another might not even make it to the bestselling list and have an all-time sales that supersede the sales of the new book, so the bestselling books are based on its sales per week. So some books can be underground and have made all-time sales more than the new book yet not make the bestselling list, an example of such books are academic textbooks they don’t make the bestseller but they have a good number of sales after a long period.

The publishers of the bestselling list have several classifications for their list some classify them as bestselling fiction, bestselling Nonfiction, bestselling paperback, and bestselling hardcover, and many more. In the compilation of the list, they also factor some things into their sales, some of the list publishers would pick the only book that made a gross sale on both retail and wholesale, some use retail sales only.
Amazon, for example, generates their bestselling list based on book sales made on their website and the list are updated hourly. It is very possible that the book makes a bestselling list for a list compiler and does not meet up for another. The list compilers as I will like to put here has their unique style of monitoring sales,

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To make it to the bestseller list there is a number of sales a book is meant to reach in a given period of time. A sale of 4,000 to 10,000 copies will make a Wall Street Journal’s bestseller list a little bit more than 10,000 pre-ordered copies should make it to the New York Times bestseller, Amazon will pick a book for the number one spot if it sells between 3,500 to 5,000 in an hour (amazon list is updated hourly), for list compilers who are not booking merchants you will need to make sure that the sales of your book are from merchants within their sales monitoring radar, this means for a book to hit the bestselling list of New York Times the book sales must be visible to them. If your book is making sales with a merchant unknown to them, it won’t count as sales with them because they are unaware of such sales, for USA Today only sales from the U.S counts.

How To Be Bestseller

The truth is any writer can be a best seller if the right amount of work is put in place to make enough sales and meet up with the requirement of the list makers.

Are All Bestsellers Good Books

Not all books that are bought are read so saying that a good book is determined only if it makes the bestselling list, will not be entirely true, this is because a bad piece of the book with a well-planned sales strategy will make the list, to make the list all you need do is sell, not even the content of the book is a criterion in any case, but this doesn’t mean that all best-sellers aren’t good books if you are an author and your contents are good to do as much work as possible to make the list it helps too. It is also possible that a book not make the bestseller yet still make more sales over a long period.

Note that “a good book is not judged based on the number of sales only but how it has been able to connect with its right audience satisfactorily” Jotham Publishers 

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