BRIDGET WHELAN writer

Muse, News and Views

The Accidental Bestseller

Two years ago Alison Waines’ psychological thriller set in contemporary London was published. Suddenly in 2015 sales figures took off. According to The Wall Street Journal, the former psychotherapist found herself selling tens of thousands of copies and the ebook topped the charts in Amazon UK and Amazon Australia. It was discussed in book groups and gained more than 300 reviews. All by mistake.
Readers mixed up Alison’s novel Girl on a Train with The Girl on a Train by Paula Hawkins which has sold over six million copies across the world and is now being made into a film.
It was no one’s fault. Titles aren’t copyright because they contain such few words.
Girl on a train 1
I’ve just checked and both Alison and Paula score 4 in Amazon’s ranking in the UK (based on the stars left by reviewers). However, right of this moment Alison’s novel is number 9 in paid Kindle store while Paula’s is number 17. I haven’t read either, but it does seem as though both books appeal to readers – only the first one wouldn’t have been discovered if the second hadn’t been published.
Serendipity is a wonderful thing…

The girl 2

5 comments on “The Accidental Bestseller

  1. guyportman
    December 18, 2015

    I’m not surprised the readers mixed up the 2 books Bridget. I just did when I saw the title of your post. Note to Santa: Please get Dan Brown to write a book with a near identical title to one of mine. Failing that I’m going to write The Girl On The Plane.

    • bridget whelan
      December 19, 2015

      There seems to be a lot of books with girl in the title at the moment – after Gone Girl and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Girl on the Plane sounds like a winner. No, wait that’s my one: yours is The Girl on the Plane…

      • guyportman
        December 19, 2015

        The Girl on the Plane it is then.

  2. cathum
    December 29, 2015

    What a great piece of serendipity. Thanks for sharing it.
    Enjoying your Blog, especially the chain story.
    Happy New Year, Cath.

    • bridget whelan
      December 29, 2015

      Thanks Cath – add a sentence to the chain story! We need you.

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This entry was posted on December 17, 2015 by in News and tagged , , .
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