Reading today that Harry Potter author J.K.Rowling made a mere $300 million last year, I’ve been wondering what makes a book a bestseller? Is it the plot, the characters or just brilliant writing? The unfortunate thing for those of us who wouldn’t mind being a J.K. Rowling is that there just doesn’t seem to be any formula. The only way of knowing if my book will be a success is to write it and see what happens.
Some books have been best-sellers for ages! The Bible’s had fans for thousands of years, while the Qurán has inspired its readers for 15 centuries. Millions of copies have been sold, and then there’s the Holy Books of Krishna and Buddha. It seems that when it comes to bestsellers, religion has a remarkable ability to turn out one hit after another.
But the awkward question is: who are the authors of these books? Could they all be from the same hit factory? Are they all saying the same thing and talking about the same God – or talking about a different God?
Somehow, the idea that there are many Gods, all competing for a market share of the believers isn’t very appealing. If JK Rowling can write several enormous books, can’t the Almighty do the same, and be the author of all the Holy Books, skilfully changing His style and story, to appeal to the audience he’s addressing at any given time?
According to the Bahá’í Faith, all the religions of the world come from the same source, but they come at different periods through history to help humanity advance. Their teachings are just like the different chapters of the same book.
This way of understanding why there are so many religions makes sense to me. So, if you’re a fan of the Almighty, then you’d probably find something to admire in all of his Best Sellers. And what’s more, you’d be impatiently looking forward to His next Big Book!
To think that God will not write another best seller would be to underestimate the talents of the most popular and influential writer of all time.