Wednesday, March 11, 2009

AN IMPROPER SUITOR as Best One Hundred?

I was very amused to see the Large Print Edition of my Hale novel, An Improper Suitor, on the Top One Hundred best selling list. Not only that, but a very flattering number 16 on the list.

Why would I be amused, you might ask? Shouldn’t I be jumping for joy? The fact is, I immediately took that list with a very large pinch of salt (make it a spade, or even a whole wagon-full). The bestselling list is compiled by Books, an offshoot of Tower Records, and my book is number 16 on their list of Mystery and Detective: Historical Fiction Top 100. Since I’m in excellent company -- listed just after an audio recording of Danielle Steel, with Mary Balogh, one of my favorite regency authors, heading the list -- I have no intention of complaining, naturally.

You’ll still be wondering then why I’m not jumping up and down with joy.

Well, first, because it is quite difficult to find the aforementioned bestseller list on the website. It would take a dedicated searcher some time to find it. In fact, with all the interest in the world because it was my own book and I wanted to track it down, it took me some time to find the list myself.

Second – and far more importantly, because herein lies the crux of the matter, An Improper Suitor has been classified as Mystery and Detective Historical Fiction. You’ll understand my misgivings about this when you know that I never set out to write in either genre! Talk about the arbitrary nature of publisher’s and bookseller’s categories…

On the other hand, what was that saying about looking gift horses in the mouth?

Once I had finally come to terms that I was a bestseller on a very obscure list of books not in my genre at all, imagine the extent of my disappointment when I realized that the Mystery and Detective: Historical list was simply arranged by order of publication…

Monica Fairview


Jan Jones said...

Um... Odd. Yup.

Nicola Slade said...

Odd but useful, Monica. You can plaster the quote all over your publicity material for other books: ' the top 100 best books chart...' or even better: 'Chart-topping...'(employing a spot of artistic licence!)
A useful, if unusual, gift horse!


monica fairview said...

I see your point, Nicola, though I would really feel I need several disclaimers...

Jan -- odd in a funny way, I hope!