Can an “Older” Book Be a Best-Seller?

I totally understand the quest to be a best-selling author:

  • That title can give you credibility to your readers and to your potential clients
  • It makes you feel famous
  • It sounds cool

Here’s the truth of how being an Amazon Best-Selling Author works:

There are no “checks and balances” and to way to research which books are best-selling books and which… aren’t. That means that you might have been #1 in a category for a matter of minutes – or it might mean that your book never was, you’re just claiming that you’re a best-selling author.

Learn the TRUTH about being a best-selling author! Share on X

Then, you have to create your personal decision about what exactly is a best-selling book or a best-selling author.

  • Best-selling in a category – no matter how many titles are in the genre?
  • #1 or anywhere in the top-ten? Top 5?
  • Best-selling in another country – where the competition might be less?
  • Kindle book or physical?
  • How long do you have to be on the list?

With so much emphasis on book launches and when a book is freshly released, what happens to books that are a year old? Or two? Or FIVE?

Can an older book still be a best-seller?

Teehee – GREAT question! And the answer is (drumroll please)


A book that has been out in circulation for a few months or *gasp* years can still claim a spot on the best-sellers list. Take a look at this screen shot:

That’s a book that has been available for purchase for FIVE YEARS sitting calmly in the number 1 spot for a search for “campfire stories”.

And it’s ALSO sitting at number 6 in the category:

Books: Children’s Books: Science Fiction & Fantasy: Spine-Chilling Horror

(BTW: This book bounces into and out of the top 10 in about half a dozen genres and search terms throughout the year. And has for the last five years!)

Here’s the link to the book so you can check it out:

Scary & Silly Campfire Stories: 15 Tales for Shivers & Giggles

While having a best-selling book is a feather in the cap of any author, it really opens a deeper discussion:

What do you want for your book?

Do you want a “flash in the pan” best-seller that hits the best-sellers list in a genre or three for a few hours or a few days – so you can forever claim the title?

Or do you want a book that stands the test of time and regularly and consistently shares your message, touches readers, and sells copies?

After having had both (I’ve had a book hit #4 in the Amazon top 100 Paid Kindle Books for a few hours and then slipped quietly back into obscurity) I’ll take the consistent, message-sharing book any day.

What about you? Leave me a comment and tell me what you think of the title “Best-Selling Author” and how it impacts your marketing, your prospects, and your book.

Kim Galloway
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