Thursday, 8 August 2013
Being Number 1
A while ago I wrote an article entitled 'Who moved the goal posts?' In it I discussed climbing the ladder of success as an author, arguing that aspirations move on, forever out of reach. So what happens when you reach the top? Last week the latest title in my Geraldine Steel series, Stop Dead, was Number 1 on kindle. Not number 1 in crime, or thrillers, (I've been there before) but Number 1 on kindle. Unbelievably more popular than The Bible, Dan Brown, 50 Shades, JK Rowling... Here I am, living the dream. But has anything changed? Not really. It's an ego boost being 'Number 1'. My publisher sent me a fabulous bouquet of flowers. I have drunk rather more Champagne than is good for me. And... that's it. There's a royalty cheque to look forward to in about 6 months' time, and... no, that really is it. 'You've made it!' a friend enthused. Well, yes, for today. But tomorrow the book might slip down to Number 10 or - oh horror! Number 20... And there's the rub. A year ago I would have been thrilled to see one of my titles in the top 50. Now, nothing below Number 1 seems good enough. And an author with a small independent publisher isn't likely to top the bestsellers list even once, let alone twice. So is reaching Number 1 a two edged sword? Am I destined to a life of disappointment from now on? What can I say but pass the Champagne and let me enjoy my moment.