Can a #free book be a bestseller? (syndicated from @DianthaJones)

The following originally appeared on

Please take everything I say here as my own personal peeve and nothing more.

*Rant Begins*

Every evening, I go on my Twitter and follow back some of the few dozen tweeps that follow me everyday. I'm sort of particular in that I only follow back bookish people–authors, book bloggers, publishers, and plain ol' book nerds. The little personal description that most post on their profile helps me decide who fits the criteria and who doesn't (why do so many porn stars follow me? Does anyone else have this problem?)
Anywho, as I go through these descriptions, the number of "bestselling" authors with "bestselling" books consistently pops out at me. I'm at the point now where I'm starting to wonder just how many of these authors and their books are truly bestsellers, and how many of them are just full of shit.

My guess? Quite a few.

I am in NO WAY a bestselling author and would never put it out there that I am if I'm not, and some of the things I've been seeing have been irking me like crazy. A few thoughts come to mind, like:

1. Free books don't count. There's a missing keyword in "FREE".

SELL. Can't become a bestSELLing novel at the price of FREE.

I don't care what anyone told you. GIVING AWAY thousands of books and making Amazon's Top 100 in FREE BOOKS does not constitute a bestselling novel. Do you know how many free books I've downloaded? Hundreds. Why? Because they were free. 

Who the hell doesn't?

As I said, in my rant Why My Books will Probably Never be Free, I explain how I feel about free books. Unless I'm familiar with your work and am a fan of yours, your book will probably hold little to no value to me. Harsh words, but true. I don't value books I download for free as much as those that I spend my hard–earned money on, which means I may read them this lifetime. But probably not.

Can't hate on your achievement though. If you make Amazon Top 100 Free then awesome! That's quite an achievement considering all of the books out there. I'm just saying, stop calling your book a bestseller because of it.

I know, I know. There's an exception. There's always an exception. If giving away a book made YOU a bestselling AUTHOR by throttling some of your other books into success, well then congratulations. Accept my apologies as I perform my grandest curtsey.

But that brings up another issue...

2. Who told you, you or your book were bestsellers? Did you come to this conclusion all on your own, did the book gods deem you so, or did your mom tell you one day that you would always be a bestseller to her, and you just ran with it?

How many times have you seen this on Twitter?

#1 Bestselling author of Blah, Blah, Blah. Blogger. Wife, mother of two gorgeous girls and one mad old cat, more stuff we don't care to know...

Again, who told this author they were a bestseller? #1 constitutes there were other books that didn't quite make the cut, which also means some sort of list was formed. What list? Where can I obtain a copy, good sir and/or mam? If it was New York Times or USA Today, or even Amazon Top 100 PAID, they would undoubtedly say so. This only leads me to believe the author dreamed up the list one day and voted their book right into the top spot.

Listen up people. What I'm trying to say is, a random "bestselling" tag doesn't mean crap to me and I bet a lot of other people feel the same way. They were just waiting for crazy Diantha Jones to say it first.

So now that I have, I guess this rant is over.

Yeah, it is. Later.