How to make your book a bestseller
This is a commonly asked question and most people don’t know the answer when we ask them whether they mean Amazon or Sunday/NY Times Bestseller?!?! As they are completely different achievements along with the levels of sales and strategies involved.
Firstly, it’s important to discover why you might want your book to be a bestseller in the first place?
- Positioning — with this achievement you are often seen as an expert. As many people can self-publish, it’s quite easy to have a book nowadays, so getting a bestseller raises it’s significance.
- Speaking — having this status can increase your speaking fees and your demand when mentioned in your bio
- PR & Status — it’s another credibility piece to add to any PR for you & your business
- Increasing Income — in the US the average non fiction book sales are less that 250 a year, so if you create a bestseller campaign you can increase your sales above average.
Which of these are a priority in your business at the moment?
Bestseller Campaign Strategies
Let’s start with the easiest category of bestseller & which is becoming an Amazon bestseller. Even within this there are types of bestseller — kindle bestseller, bestseller in a category or subcategory like business and then marketing or top bestsellers on the whole of amazon. Getting any of these allows you to call yourself a ‘bestseller’. However, amazon doesn’t tell you that you’ve made it, you have to watch the charts & grab a screenshot when you hit the top spots!
We’ve run many bestseller campaigns for people & they’ve hit the top spot by selling a couple of hundred to thousands of books. It all depends on the competition in your category that you book is listed under when you publish it.
- So choose wisely. Alison Porter one of our members books chose for her book on breast cancer to be in the breast cancer category which had 10,000 other books rather than the alternative medicine category where there is a competition of over 60,000 books!
- Run a marketing campaign to sell as many books on 1 specific day — Amazon updates every 10 mins so just because Richard Branson has sold more books in total, you might have sold more than him on just that day or within that 1 hour & that knocks him off the top spot for that duration.
- Get support. Find people of influence with lists of your ideal clients & get them to offer free bonus gifts for people who buy your book on that day — that way they raise the awareness of their company & help you to reach more people. We advise people to have a reach of 250,000 people (combined social & email lists) to get your promotion out to on the day of the campaign.
With a Sunday/NY Times bestseller it’s very different!
You will need to be traditionally published in order to get into these charts as they use sales from Neilson who only represent traditional publishers (not self-publishing)
- They have a 2–3 week window on when they will calculate the sales & the dates differ each month — so your publisher needs to find out these dates & then you need to develop a marketing plan around selling as much as you can during that period.
- You will require a minimum of 5000 sales but aim for 10000
- Having a pre-order campaign is really important to confirm these sales so that people purchase before the release date — then sales are calculated as soon as the book is officially published.
- PR really helps with these campaigns & you can use things like woobox.com to run competitions to get people sharing about your book
So which route are you considering? What tools, resources and support do you require to make it happen? Like any launch we recommend that you plan 3 months ahead of the when you want to run your bestseller campaign, to ensure you are fully prepared to achieve success!