IN THIS ISSUE
- From the Editor’s Desk: Last day to sign up for Wordling Plus waiting list
- On The Wordling: Double your response rate with this hack
- News & Views: How much money buys a spot on the NYT bestseller list?
FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK
Happy Thursday, writer friends!
Summer holidays are officially over and my kid’s back to school today, and while we’ve had an excellent summer that I didn’t want to end, it’s time for a fresh start.
My son started secondary school today, my husband started a new job this week, and I’m launching Wordling PLUS, which is the next stage in my business development, and a dream I’ve had since I became a creative entrepreneur over a decade ago.
Today’s the very last day to sign up for the waiting list, so let me tell you a bit about it.
Wordling PLUS is what I wish I had when I first became a writer. Like most writers, I bought books and took individual courses to further my learning and growth, but what I really wanted was a resource that would grow with me. That would take me from the very beginning stages of figuring out how to even get my foot in the door of the industry, to the very advanced levels of making a six-figure income and above. Plus, I’m multi-passionate, so I wanted to learn about books and publishing as much as I wanted to learn about freelancing and creative entrepreneurship. I spent a fortune on courses and coaching, before discovering that I needed a resource that gave me the flexibility to pick courses and trainings that worked for me at that moment in time.
That’s what Wordling PLUS aims to do. It meets you where you are in your journey, and gives you more resources and tools than you could ever need, so that it’s not the learning you need to focus on, but the implementation. I don’t want you to have to pick the “right course.” Have them all. Whatever you need to learn is right there, at your fingertips, for an incredibly affordable price. Once you stop worrying about what you should spend your money on, you can focus instead on how to put it to the best use.
I don’t believe in scarcity tactics. I realized it makes little sense for people to invest in dozens of courses for thousands of dollars if they’re not implementing that information. So, instead, I want to give you everything I’ve ever created and will ever create, so that the question is never “what course should I take?” but “what actions should I implement?” My goal with everything I do is expansion—for myself and others. And Wordling PLUS embraces that vision perfectly.
I’ll talk more about Wordling PLUS and the community I’m hoping to create next week when we officially launch. However, there is a special pre-launch sale happening, with massive discounts, that will be available to the first 100 people only.
So hop on to the list by midnight EST. Tomorrow, I will send you an email telling you all about Wordling PLUS and our special founder member pricing.
Regardless of whether you decide to join Wordling PLUS, it’s still worth signing up to the waiting list, since that’s the only way to hear about the promotional offer. Click here to be added automatically.
Enjoy the issue!
Natasha Khullar Relph
Founding Editor, The Wordling
NEW ON THE WORDLING
Was there a way I could get more responses, even rejections? I decided to experiment.
NEWS & VIEWS:
Authors who bought their way on to the NYT bestseller list
Most authors dream of bestseller lists, of seeing their books climb the charts, and attracting a large readership of loyal, repeat readers. However, the system can be, and has been, gamed for decades.
In Issue #107 of The Wordling, I wrote about how the New York Times bestseller list works.The list takes representative samples from certain bookstores around the US. If there are 5,000-10,000 sales reported from these bookstores in a given week, an author can make the New York Times bestseller list. Which is exactly why certain authors have tried to buy their books in bulk from certain stores to get on the list.
Here’s a partial list of books whose authors bought their way on to the NYT bestsellers list with fake sales:
1. Trump: The Art of the Deal by Donald J. Trump (1987)
Unsurprisingly, the former US President had his organization buy tens of thousands of copies of the book. In Trumped!, former Trump employee Jack O’Donnell writes that copies of the book were put on pillows during turndown service and executives were pressured to buy 4,000 or more copies of the book each.
2. Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship & Life Together by Mark and Grace Driscoll (2012)
The mega-church pastor and his wife spent US $210,000 to get their book to the number one spot. Once this was revealed, however, he wrote an open letter apologizing for his actions.
3. A Time for Truth by Ted Cruz (2015)
Ted Cruz was left off the New York Times bestseller list, even though his book sold 12,000 copies in its first week, according to BookRiot. Turns out, Cruz paid his publisher $120,000 for copies of his own book, which he then sold through his website for $85 each.
4. Handbook for Mortals by Lani Sarem (2017)
This young adult novel was removed from the #1 spot after writers on Twitter were shocked to see a book selling that many copies when no one seemed to have heard of the writer, the publisher, or the book. Turns out, the author had been contacting bookstores, asking if they reported to the NYT and, if they did, placing bulk orders.
5. Triggered by Donald Trump Jr. (2019)
Another $100,000 bulk purchase, leading the book to debut at the top of the hardcover nonfiction bestseller list.
Indeed, according to Vanity Fair, “In 2020, 17 books on the New York Times hardcover nonfiction best-seller list have scored their spots by dint of bulk buys. All but two have been written by Trumpworld superstars: Trump Jr.; founder of Turning Point USA Charlie Kirk; Glenn Beck; conservative commentator Dave Rubin; Fox News host Pete Hegseth; Dinesh D’Souza; Newt Gingrich; Freedom Center founder David Horowitz; Ben Shapiro; Sean Hannity; Sarah Huckabee Sanders; Candace Owens; Jeanine Pirro; the American Conservative editor Rod Dreher; and Ted Cruz. Of these 15, nine appeared on the list for three weeks or less. (The two outliers aren’t Democratic polemicals; they are the memoirs Live in Love, by Lauren Akins, who is married to country musician Thomas Rhett, and Incomparable, by twin WWE fighters Brie and Nikki Bella.)”
A new study from the Pew Research Center finds that most US journalists (70%) are satisfied with their job. 77% of respondents said they’d pursue a career in journalism again, and 75% said they were extremely or very proud of their work.
In other is-this-really-news, The Booker prize is not an even playing field for authors. Who knew? Anyway, not only do you stand no chance of winning as an indie author, but your odds increase significantly based on how many times your publisher has had books on the longlist. Your country of origin matters, too.
And finally, if you’ve been seeing more translated fiction in British bookstores and libraries, that’s not an accident. Translated fiction is having a moment in the UK.
SLOVENIA: “But with investment continuing for networking among world publishing players, enabling Slovenian authors to travel, within the last four or five years Kovač says he has at last seen as many as 200 or so translations being made of Slovenian work annually—those 200 being produced from a smaller number of books, he says, which “snowball” once they have a couple of starter translations to gain visibility.”
GHANA: “Although Ghana ranks highly as a democracy, press freedom in the West African country is deteriorating. In 2022, the country dropped 30 places in Reporters Without Borders’ global Press Freedom Index, and from the third to 10th position in Africa, as journalists have experienced worsening safety conditions in recent years.”
INDIA: “Maharashtra journalist Sandeep Mahajan was assaulted by a group of men on August 9 after publishing statements online about Maharashtra’s chief minister, with the attack captured and shared online. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the India Journalist Union (IJU) in calling for action to be taken against the minister in line with the state’s journalist protection laws.”
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”
– Madeleine L’Engle
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