The last time I redid my web site, the designer’s first effort for the header went something like this: “Barbara Meyers, bestselling author of contemporary romance and fantasy.”
I shot that back to her and made sure she understood that I wasn’t a bestselling author and therefore, implying that I was would be inaccurate. In fact, it was a lie.
In a digital world where it seems you can’t believe anything and there’s so much misrepresentation especially on the internet, I had no intention of contributing to that atmosphere. So the designer took off the word “bestselling.”
Don’t get me wrong. I wish I was a bestselling author. I’m certainly working toward that goal, even if I don’t know exactly what it means. I could be number one hundred on some newspaper’s “bestseller list” and still be an author very few readers have heard of, but that still would qualify me for bestseller status, wouldn’t it?
There are countless numbers of bestselling authors the average reader has never heard of much less read. But still, I think I wouldn’t mind being included.
I used to cut the bestseller lists out of the Sunday paper and cross out the names and titles and insert my name and titles.
In the past couple of years I’ve had a revelation. If it appears on my web site it eventually comes true. More than once I have made mention of projects I’m working on, only to have them go from project to publication. Often, I wistfully mentioned them only to fill space in my news section. They were nowhere near completion and my writing career certainly wasn’t moving forward the way I wanted. There are moments in almost every author’s life, no matter what their status, where they wonder if they’ll ever sell a manuscript again.
I had always heard all you need to do is find an editor who likes your work (and is willing to take a chance on you). I had three different editors for three books, so that didn’t seem likely either. But then it happened. And it wasn’t even on my web site!
I had my web site redone (by the incomparable Cynthia Melendez-Flynn) and it is better than ever. After a recent tweaking session I asked Cynthia if she could add the word “bestselling” in tiny, tiny letters in the header. And could she put “bestselling author” in the tiniest print possible on every page?
I don’t want to lie. I’m hoping no one will notice. But if it’s on my web site, eventually it will come true.
I’m subliminally messaging myself. And the rest of the world. It’s not exactly a lie. It’s a prediction that just hasn’t quite happened yet. Until then it’ll be our little secret.