A Best Selling Book:
It’s the title that every author desires… that every author works for. And let me tell you, it doesn’t come easily.
A Best selling book is a book that lands in the top 100 on a digital platform, such as Amazon, Nook, and iTunes, or makes it on one of those sought after bestseller lists – USA Today, NY Times, and Wall Street Journal. Well, this is my definition of a best seller. Other authors opinions’ may differ but we’re probably close.
Why is it so important to authors to make bestseller lists? Because it gives us street cred… it tells a reader that the book is good enough that lots of other people have bought it too.
I am grateful to my readers who have given a few of my books the title of Bestseller. I will never forget the day I got a message on Facebook that told me to check the USA Today bestsellers list, only to discover that my boxed set, First Class Family, sat at #66. Yep! I ranked 66 out of 150 for the week on one of the sought after “best-selling book lists.”
First Class Family is the collection of the First Class Novels, the first series I wrote, beginning in 2012. It consists of nine novels and when I decided to box them all together so I could sell them for one low price, I wrote a novella especially for it, that can’t be purchased any other place, except in the boxed set.
I am so proud of this series, not only because it was my first, but because I wrote the kind of stories I wanted to write and they resonated with readers and, in turn, have actually helped readers in their emotional wellbeing. Let me share with you one experience that has changed the way I write.
After becoming a USA Today Bestselling author, I was asked to speak at a women’s organization and was honored to do so. I told my story of how I got started writing romance novels and how the character of Janie Anderson, my amazing female lead in First Class to New York, the first novel in the series, came to be. I wanted her to be older and have some life experience. She was already a mother and had experienced a happy and loving marriage. But her husband had succumbed to cancer and the story was about her starting over and realizing that she still had a lot of life left to live, and more importantly, deserved to be happy once more.
As I told my story, I watched a woman sit at her table and sob. She eventually had to leave the room because she was having difficulty controlling the tears that flowed. I was worried I had said something offensive and it troubled me as I continued my presentation. Afterwards, I had most of the women come up and want to say hello. Some asked me to sign the book that they’d gotten and others wanted a picture with me. And then, the crying woman appeared in front of me, tear-stained cheeks and a red nose. She started to apologize for her disruption but I stopped her. I was much more concerned that I had said or done something to offend her, and then she told me her story.
Her husband had died of cancer just six weeks’ prior – a week or so before Christmas. She had two children in middle school and wondered how she was going to move on from this devastation. I was stunned – speechless, in fact. How closely I had mirrored her story was almost unbelievable and she’d decided it wasn’t just a coincidence – she was meant to hear me speak that night and she clutched her copy of First Class to New York like it was a life preserver. She asked me how the story ended. She needed to know. I pulled a copy of the second book in the series, First Class to Portland, from a box and handed it to her.
“You’ll love the ending,” I smiled. “It’s exactly what Janie deserves.”
She hugged me, thanked me for giving her hope, and left to return home to her sons. She smiled as she clung to those paperbacks as she walked away. I realized how critical it was that the stories I put out needed to be uplifting and encouraging, giving readers a feeling of peace as they read the final page.
Silly romance novels have an important place in our society. And I am so glad that hundreds of thousands of readers have read my best selling books and hopefully they too have found something positive from them.
Topic: USA Today Bestselling Author AJ Harmon talks about how her best selling books in First Class Family changed her life and the lives of her readers.