Society & Culture & Entertainment Writing

Best Seller Vs Sensation - What Is the Difference?

A best seller is defined by some as a book that sells 50,000 copies or more, which is no small victory.
In fact, any author who sells more than 50,000 copies of any title is a huge success in his or her own right.
But, what about a sensation? A sensation is in a class of its own.
A sensation not only sells more than 50,000 copies of a single title, but a sensation is a title that is contagious, a book that cannot be read or heard about without the burning desire to gossip about it.
"Have you heard about...
" Did you read...
" Hence the title 50 Shades of Grey.
I have to admit, I am not a big fiction reader.
In fact, most of the books that I read are of the nonfiction persuasion, but when I heard about the huge sales of 50 Shades of Grey, I had to take notice and see what the craze was all about.
When I did read it, I got it.
I finally got it, why so many people were completely obsessed with this book because I was one of them.
I was plagued with this incurable urge to tell everyone I knew and didn't know about this book.
But why? Why did I have this incurable urge to gossip about this book? Because 50 Shades of Grey is such a fun story, but more importantly, I was madly in love with Christian Grey, and I was compelled to tell the world about him and his naughty character.
So, I got to thinking.
What is it about a book that causes a person to spread the word? Since I am no expert on the subject, I can only theorize.
I think there are certain characteristics in a book that may cause it to tip the scales into sensation territory.
I believe those qualities are: Fascinating character or characters who are unique, unusual or eccentric in some way; Universal story lines: goals, wishes and struggles shared by the masses; and Finally, water cooler scenes.
Those are the scenes that compel you to gossip.
One of the scenes in 50 Shades of Grey that I shared with everyone except the priest in the church was when Christian Grey told Anna that he didn't make love, he only fucked, real hard.
How can you keep that type of dialogue to yourself? It demands to be repeated, over and over again, and that is exactly what I did.
Though there may be many best sellers that make the list that you will never, ever hear of, a sensation is a totally different type of best seller.
It's a sensation in itself.

Leave a reply