I've begun receiving another round of snarky messages complaining that I am misrepresenting myself as a bestselling author without book sales equal to the wording. I am frankly surprised that I still need to explain that the word "bestseller" means literally that, a best seller in a category; it is not an absolute numerical measure of book sales, and never has been. Similarly, an H2 series can be a "hit" program in the cable category with just 0.3% of the U.S. population watching, while a broadcast network "hit" might have ten or twenty times the audience.
While my use of the word is a publisher- and literary-agent-approved marketing application of "bestseller," I've decided that the marketing puffery isn't worth the hassle. Just as Caesar said of Pompeia at their divorce, "my wife ought not even to be under suspicion" (Plutarch, Caesar, 10.9), I want to make sure no one is confused or upset by my use of marketing words. Therefore, I have amended my biography page to highlight that my Critical Companion to Ancient Aliens achieved Amazon.com bestseller status in the archaeology category in 2012, something that has always been acknowledged in the footnotes. By bringing this to the fore and shifting the adjective "bestselling" from my name to the book's, I hope this will clear up the angry confusion.
I have posted all of this information here to ensure that this change is public and documented so I can't be accused of "secretly" changing anything.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
Enter your email below to subscribe to my newsletter, The Skeptical Xenoarchaeologist, for updates on my latest projects, blog posts, and activities, and subscribe to Culture & Curiosities, my Substack newsletter.
Terms & Conditions
Please read all applicable terms and conditions before posting a comment on this blog. Posting a comment constitutes your agreement to abide by the terms and conditions linked herein.