That lesson is…. In order to hit 1 on the bestseller list, your book has to deliver an amazing experience that 1, people will readily pay money for. Most authors do the total opposite.
James, on the other hand, did it the smart way. She took a concept with enormous demand -- the Twilight series -- made it sexier, then gave it to the audience she knew would love it. It blew up. Over people signed up within 48 hours. Ding ding ding! The idea was validated, and I had proof that people wanted to BUY the book before I started making it. And if there are a ton of people buying one type of book Sexy vampires! Make sure the demand for your book is strong enough that people are willing to pay for it, before you start making it.
Read the most popular books in your chosen category, and figure out why people love or hate them i. Emulation is just a smarter way of doing things. When you do that, you not only make them happier, you also dramatically increase your odds of succeeding as an author. I write what amuses me. It's totally for myself. So to add to the previous tip write a book people want to buy is to write the book that YOU want to read. But before you start writing your book and acting all author-y sitting at a typewriter, drinking scotch in a log cabin, etc.
In other words, you need to envision and conceptualize what the final product is going to look and feel like. You need a great title in order for your book to be marketable. Any longer than that and it starts to lose its memorability, though there are exceptions Men are from Mars Women are from Venus, How to Win Friends and Influence People.
Come up with potential titles. Pick your three favorites. Think about it: If someone wants to give your book to their friend, what are they going to say? You think I have anxiety? The subtitle was simply a matter of tacking on who the book was for workaholics , and how the book could benefit them cure their anxiety.
Your cover is the core visual people associate with your book.
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Your cover must be compelling, sophisticated, and so eye-grabbing that people want to click it and read the Amazon description. I wanted the coloring to fall somewhere between the movie posters for Field of Dreams and Big Fish -- two films that have always felt magical, nostalgic, and playful. I decided to do a photoshoot so I could make a few cover mockups myself. That way, I would be able to quickly see if my ideas were working or not. Here are some of my mockups:. I handed the mockups over to my designer, who sent this back to me two hours later:. No one understands the spirit and meaning of the book better than the person who wrote it.
All authors should try to envision the exact cover they want and how it will look when listed on Amazon , then sketch it out on paper or create a mockup in Photoshop. Even if your designs are terrible drawings on a napkin, you can hire a great designer on Behance or Elance for a couple hundred bucks who can turn your ideas into something beautiful.
The description of your book is what gets people to BUY the book. As Tim said in this post :. I took my back cover pretty damn seriously. I asked them the following questions:. Shallow breathing, tension in the gut, chest pains, rapid heartbeat Every moment is exhausting, crushing, and painful. Anxiety destroys your confidence, your productivity, your relationships, and your ability to enjoy life. Fear no more. You can put an end to your suffering. You can start living again. I read your book in a single sitting. I'm so appreciative of your words because they validate what I've been feeling deep down all this time.
After you have the title, cover, and description of your book mapped out, THEN you can start writing. Your aim is to create a marketable book. In order to do that, you -- the author -- should try to bake marketing elements into your book that facilitate word-of-mouth and ongoing sales. They are forcing you to make a great book, and catching all of the things that currently suck.
You need beta readers to prevent you from releasing garbage. Get to know your readers and form a deeper bond. Your beta readers. This tactic has worked really well for Tim.
For the release of The 4-Hour Chef, he did a promotion where he released a digital bundle on Bittorrent -- a site with million users -- which contained a section of 4HC, deleted chapters, and bonus video content. The 4HC promo is a unique case with exceptional results, but the principle can be used by any author -- give your book away for free to people who are going to talk about it.
My dream team consisted of: reddit. Once I had my list, I reached out to everyone, and gave them my book for free. Of course not. With Tim, Tucker, and Ramit -- I reached out through email, offered to help them for free, and eventually became friends with them. I developed actual relationships with most of the people I met. Some are just loose connections, but most are friends that I've had dinner and drinks and crazy experiences with many times over the years.
I don't expect my friends to read the book, nor do I expect them to help me in any way. I just try to get them interested in my book by making a personal offer that's extremely difficult to refuse. Hey [nice person that I like but don't know well]- My first book is coming out next month, and I'd love to send it your way. Not asking for any favors, don't worry -- this is a free gift. I think you'll like it because I talk about managing anxiety and workaholism with play.
Do you prefer Kindle or PDF? See what I did there?
134 responses to “Book Marketing 101: How to Hit #1 on Amazon's Bestseller List”
Instead of asking if they wanted the book, I asked what format they preferred. The question assumes they've already said "yes" A or B? This is critical for busy people, who receive hundreds of emails a day. It's short, sweet, and makes it easy for them to quickly respond "Kindle, please! The reason I'm emailing is because I'm an enormous fan of your writing, and I would love to give you a copy of my book. The article has already helped more than , anxiety sufferers rediscover the importance of play, and I'm hoping my book will help many more.
Would you prefer Kindle or a PDF of my book? Just let me know and I'll be happy to send it to you. If that happens, it actually validates that your work is good no one pirates awful content. Think of it as free advertising. If your book is really good, people will pay for it or share it.
No harm done! Paolo Coelho -- the Brazilian author of The Alchemist, and many other books that have sold millions of copies worldwide -- is such a big believer in giving away his books for free that he set up his own piracy site called Pirate Coelho. Seth Godin gained much of his following by releasing his book The Idea Virus online, for free.
It was downloaded more than 1 million times. Hell, even I gave away my first book Recession Proof Graduate for free. The marketing machines you set up will automatically increase your sales indefinitely. I knew that Hoehn was rotten! The truth is that I just asked all 30 of my Beta Readers to leave a review. I even publicly stated why I was doing this two months before release :. I never asked anyone to leave a 5-star, or even a positive review. And even when it's not gamed, people still suspect authors of foul play.
Case in point, my 1-star review:. We got a fair amount of flak when we launched The 4-Hour Body.
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The reality? Tim just gave away hundreds of advance copies to blog readers. On launch day, he sent out a link to the Amazon page and asked these early readers to leave a review. Simple as that.
Getting a foundation of positive Amazon reviews doesn't have to be manipulative or slimey at all. In fact, it should be harmonious. I never had to force anyone to leave a review; I just asked. Here's how The book is DONE! It meant a lot to me, and you made a big impact on how the book ultimately turned out.
Would you be willing to leave a review? It'd really help a ton. The first popular review of this book is probably going to be THE review that people will see for years to come. If you have time to write one today, that'd be great. Great reviews usually consist of: what the reader learned, how it affected their life short and long term , and what they'd say to someone who was thinking about reading it.
You should make one or several book trailers that will be in-demand and worth watching for the next 10 years. People want to form a relationship with the author first. No email receipt needed, but familiarity with book will be important. Buy 4 Copies — Free signed, advanced copy of Becoming Superhuman [note: this was the decoy title for 4-Hour Body] when it comes out later in E-mail Amazon receipt to bonus fourhourworkweek.
This makes the ten copies, in effect, free. Dine and hang out with me and my best friends from tech and all over the world. I will fly you from anywhere in the world to San Francisco, where I will cover all meals and entertainment for 24 hours. One friend or business partner is welcome to attend if they cover their own travel and hotel. That promotion worked really well, so we did it again the following year. Only this time, we went BIG. And the second time we employed the Land Rush technique, it resulted in 15, copies of The 4-Hour Body sold in less than 3 days hours.
All of the packages were broken up into Slideshares, so we could easily track which packages were being viewed the most, and which ones were converting. We had packages for so many levels: 1 book, 3 books, 5 books, 10 books, 30 books, books, books, 1, books, 5, books, and even 10, books. For orders that were copies, we had readers email us their Amazon receipts, then we fulfilled their bonus gifts. For orders that were between 30 and copies, we had readers purchase a ticket on Eventbrite.
Then we had CEO-Read ship the books to them, and the companies we partnered with fulfilled their bonus gifts. Handling logistics for 15, orders was crazy, but our biggest regret was that we offered TOO many choices. People were confused about what to buy. We should have just done 1 book, 3 books, 10 books, 30 books, books, and 1, books.
Still, it was a huge success. Again, you can use this technique for your book during your launch to get a rush of books sold all in 24 hours. Or you can offer your book in bulk on an ongoing basis, just so people see that option to buy large orders. This marketing machine facilitates transactions that get my book in the hands of large audiences, and the form encourages them to hire me as a paid speaker. Charles Duhigg, the author of the bestseller The Power of Habit, originally got his toe-hold by releasing an excerpt from his book that went viral.
Ideally, you want to have some sort of personal connection with the people running these sites they know, like, and want to help you. Only do guest posts and interviews for outlets where you know that A they do great work, B you can give them amazing content, C your ideal readers are on the receiving end of that content, and D your work will likely convert or be shared. Just think about how long and detailed this guest post is -- pretty crazy, right?
Well I know that if I do an amazing job, a lot of you guys will want to share this post or buy my book, so I put a lot of effort into it. You get to have an honest conversation that people will listen to for an hour or more! The reason I'm emailing is because I'm a big fan of [your podcast], and wanted to see if you'd like to have me as a guest on the show. Here are a few notes on why I think I'd make a good guest:. My post has helped more than , anxiety sufferers over the past year, and I'd love to share my story with your audience.
Would having me on as a guest be of interest? If so, I'd be happy to give your listeners an exclusive offer on my upcoming book, as well. Of course, if you'd rather pass or can't do it now, no worries!
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Either way, thanks for your time and keep doing what you're doing. First, you want to set the narrative online in places you can have more control over. Why not do giveaways, or record the speech and post it online? All of it adds up, slowly but surely. You can also partner with physical outlets where your ideal reader might be. I hope you get a chance to check out my book. Most of and the beginning of were a low time for me.
I tried many things like naked yoga, traveling alone around India, love workshops, business coaches, new diets, etc… to feel better. Eventually with trying many things I was able to start feeling better. Leave a comment with the latest activity you like to do rollerblading, cleaning, reading, etc.. Your email address will not be published. Leave this field empty. Thank you for this! I didn't even know what slideshare was! Really appreciate you. Activities: working out, dancing, and bad bowling! What a fantastic article. And I will be buying this book for my fourteen-year-old daughter!
My book Butterfly will be launched on Feb. Thank you? Hello Noah: Thanks for the great ideas! I am implementing them with my new book Junga the Dancing Yeti and will recommend this informative and helpful article to other authors I publish. Noah this was a fantastic article.. Just so many helpful tips insights and strategy.. Just loved it I am going to implement a number of these to increase marketability of my recent book Thank you so much Very informative article.
I will definitely share with others. This is another awesome Orkdork post which I just shared with my members on afroentrepreneurs. I've yet to launch my own amazon ebooks and so very glad that I stumbled upon both yours and Scott Britton's articles which will help immensely. I simply loved this article and all of its content, because it had tones of valuable information pertinent to my 27th Year of this book writing journey!!!! Thank you, Natacha P. So, do you think there is a logical limit on the number of times an author puts a book on super sale each year? I'd be interested in your take.
This was one helluva post! In this last book marketing and promotion post in the Write Nonfiction in November series, Dana Lynn Smith, who is best known for her Savvy Book Marketer series, offers 10 tips for maximizing book sales on Amazon. Below are 10 ways to maximize your exposure and boost sales through this important outlet. Although these tips focus on Amazon, BarnesandNoble.
On the Amazon website, the book description appears under a heading titled Editorial Reviews. To upload text to appear in this Editorial Reviews section, use this form. The text that you enter on this form is supposed to replace existing text. The staff at Amazon reviews the information before posting it, so it may take a while. If you need to make other changes to your book information on Amazon, try this page. Amazon customers search for books by author, title, or keyword. Like search engines, Amazon uses several criteria in deciding which products to display on the search results page and in what order to display them.
Popularity the number of books already sold on Amazon and how well the book matches the keywords are major factors in keyword search results. When consumers shop for books online, many of them read the reviews before making a purchase. Even if they came to the site looking for a particular book, they may read the reviews to verify that they are making a good selection. Positive reviews are especially important for nonfiction books, where consumers often compare several books on the same topic.
In retail bookstores, customers tend to read the back cover, then flip through the book scanning the contents before making a purchase decision. See this page for details on the program. When you post reviews of related books and products on Amazon. Be subtle about mentioning your own book when writing reviews. Amazon has been known to delete overly promotional reviews, especially those with links.
Authors who have books for sale on Amazon can set up an author page through Author Central formerly Amazon Connect. You know you need a great book cover and probably have one. But have you considered that the colour or font might be a problem? Look at the top ranking books in certain genres. For romance, pastel colours are predominant. For mystery and thriller, heavy and dark, with black shades are common.
What about your title font? Romance titles use a lot of fancy script fonts, whereas mystery and suspense use bold san serif fonts. But paranormal and fantasy often use fine serif fonts. Compare your cover with the 50 top-selling titles in your genre. See if you can make your cover better suited to what readers expect.
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You can use a free book cover maker to experiment with your new book cover ideas. Yes, you checked it one hundred times. But check it again now. Is it totally error and typo free? Prowritingaid is a writing assessment and correction program that is perfectly suited to analysing and improving long texts such as a book manuscript. Did you write your book description in a hurry when you published? Your book description is second only to your cover in attracting reader interest. Make sure it contains hooks that will instantly gain interest or intrigue.
It should scream, you will love this book! Also, why not write three versions and then you can test which one works best? Have you included a question to help attract reader interest? Like a book cover, compare your book description with bestselling books. Can you get a few clues from them to improve yours? When you published your book, did you quickly choose your two broad categories?
Romance and Fantasy? If you did, your book is lost amongst thousands of other similar types of books. You need to drill down through the categories to find two niche categories for your book. It will reduce competition and help you to rank better and sell better. Again, check top-selling books in your genre and look at their categories.
Here are two examples of a good niche. Another way to get your book into a niche category is to ask Amazon. Yes, you can ask Amazon to add a specific category to your book. Did you do any keyword research? Have you checked if they are performing well? Your seven search keywords on Amazon, and sometimes more on other retailers are vital for getting book sales. It is because these keywords are how people will find your book when using retailer search. One mistake new authors often make is that they select seven individual words, thinking that a keyword must be one word.
A keyword can and should be a short phrase. Then test them by using Google and Amazon search.