Richard Wright

author of strange, dark fictions


African American Sales Sensation

April 19, 2016 by Richard Wright in Journal, Writing

African AmericanI feel all weird and inappropriate. Sort of icky.

I am, completely by accident, currently the author of the number one bestselling novel in the Canadian Kindle bookstore in the genre ‘African American Literature’. I am outselling Toni Morrison in this category.

As a person of zero African American heritage, this feels a bit unfortunate. A bit like I’m cheating. My consolation is that this won’t last long, and then we can forget all about it.

Cuckoo happens to be on sale at the moment, which has boosted its ranking all over the place. All well and good. At the same time, I share a name with the deceased African American author Richard Wright (of Native Son and Black Boy fame). Most Amazon sites do not confuse us with one another. I am neither dead, nor African American. I write escapist genre fiction. The other guy was an important voice in describing the black experience in America as it was in the middle of the last century.

Amazon Canada has mixed us up but good. It only takes a relatively small number of sales to top this category in Canada (I think I’ve sold twelve copies there this week), and because they think that I am he, I have risen to the top of the African American list. As a white European, this makes me exceptionally uncomfortable.

In a day or two I’ll probably have dropped out of the chart, and I’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Um. Sorry, African American authors. Honestly not my fault. Please don’t shout at me.

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