You Can Be #1
You’re about to learn how to become a #1 bestselling author on Amazon.
But first I’m going to ask you 3 questions.
I want you.
I want your uncensored, unbridled, unfiltered answers.
I want answers that come from the deepest part of your soul...and the wildest expanse of your heart.
And—here’s the catch—I want answers that are less than 50 words (or 20 seconds) for each question.
What’s your book about?
Why do you want to write it?
Who else (besides you) will be excited to buy it?
If you find yourself hesitating, stuttering, nervous, doubting, blushing, confused, talking on and on, or stumped by any of these questions, that’s OK. I invite you to stop reading this article and spend some serious, reflective time on these 3 questions. (You may also need to do a little research.)
Because if you want to become a bestselling author, you have to know:
Who your book is for; and
What kind of information you’re going to share and / or transformation you’re going to help them achieve.
These are important questions, and your answers are absolutely critical to your success. You’ll need to know these so you can run an effective bestseller campaign. (This is how to make your book a bestseller.)
It all starts with seduction
Pablo Picasso once said,
It is your work in life that is the ultimate seduction.
Running a bestseller campaign is a lot like seduction.
You wouldn’t ask someone to marry you on the first date, would you?
In the same way, you don’t just suddenly blurt out,
Hey, buy my book!
Instead, you take the time to connect, communicate, and create an experience that makes your audience curious, engaged, and wanting more from you…
That’s where the bestseller campaign comes in.
It’s kind of like courtship. It’s all the stuff that you do... leading up to that moment when you pop big the question.
7 Steps To A Bestseller
Last year I launched my first book. I was nervous, sure. Even with a BA in Creative Writing, it was a big leap for me to publish my first book. It felt like part of me. And it was certainly a big part of my business.
I wanted people to buy my book, read and resonate with it, and then connect with me, and hire me. To do that I needed people to find the book on Amazon, and nothing helps your exposure better than a #1 Bestseller ranking.
I want to lay out for you, step-by-step, the seven steps that I worked through for my bestseller campaign. This is exactly what I did to get my book to #1 on Amazon in my categories.
(In other words, welcome to my seduction…)
Step 1: Write a good book
You have to write something that people will want to buy and share. Start off by asking yourself:
Is my topic popular on Amazon? Are there lots of books? And are people buying them?
Am I giving people what they want (vs. telling them what I think they need)?
Do I know who my audience is and how to reach them?
Is my topic relevant to my audience?
Does it speak to their most pressing pains and their loftiest dreams?
Am I writing to them in the language that they use?
You have to connect with a reader if you want to write a good book.
Step 2: Make a great first impression
Would you show up for a first date looking like a mess? Unshowered, rambling incoherencies, and then talking about yourself all the time?
No, I didn't think so. Well put your book in that same position. Make a good first impression. Ask yourself:
Do I have a great cover?
How about a great title and subtitle?
Is my book description compelling? (A good way to do this is to lead with a testimonial.)
Do I have great reviews? (Although reviews and ratings have no direct bearing on your Bestseller Rank, they are likely to influence people to buy your book, and thereby indirectly help you get to #1.)
How well is my book formatted for Kindle?
Step 3: Do you bestseller campaign with your Kindle book, not your print book
I had both a print version and a kindle version, and I was advised to go for my bestseller with the kindle version.
Start like this: On the day you make your book available, sell it for 99¢. It’s very easy for people to buy something that costs less than a dollar.
The goal here is to get as many sales as possible, not to make money on the book sales.
After your bestseller campaign is over, you can change the price to whatever you want (99¢ to $9.99).
Step 4: Pick the right categories
For your book to be #1 on Amazon, you don’t have to sell the most books. Instead, you have to sell more books than other author in your category, over a period of time.
Since you can select two categories, find two that are appropriate for your book, but have less competition than some of the bigger categories.
My book Marketing With A Heart is about conscious, authentic, trust based marketing. Yes it’s a book about marketing. But I chose Business Ethics and Business Etiquette as my two categories. Much less competition. Much easier to reach #1.
Step 5: Make people understand how fantastic your book is
OK, so you know it's fantastic, and now it's time to convince other people.
You wrote a book, right? (Or you’re writing it now…) It's time to tell people about your work, and, particularly, about your book.
Repurpose (a.k.a. slice and dice and re-use) the content from your book for blogs, articles, podcasts, YouTube, emails, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
In the days or weeks before you make the book available: use as many of these variations as possible on content to build the buzz, get people to your website, and onto your list.
Immediately before you make the book available: use your repurposed content to get people super excited. You can even run contests and make special bonuses available to the people who are on your list.
When you launch the book: go buck wild with your content and promotion and tell everybody...and ask them to tell everyone else. And then tell people some more. And again!
Step 6: Write guest article and blogs
Almost everyone who has a website needs more content. And you can make their life easier.
So find websites that cater to your audience. Use content from your book to create some content blogs or articles. Make sure the sites will promote your post (by email, social media, etc). And, make sure you can include a link for someone to buy your book or go back to your site to get on your email list.
Step 7: Lead with value
There is an old proverb that says,
Give and you shall receive.
And although last of the seven steps, this is core to my business philosophy and to everything I do. Here’s how I used it in my bestseller campaign:
As I described in Steps 5 and 6, I published oodles of valuable content all over the place. So even if some people never buy my book, hire me to speak, or work with me as a coach, they still receive value that (I hope) will transform their lives.
Instead of asking people to buy my book outright, I reached out and said,
Hey! I’m about to publish my first book and make my lifelong dream a reality! I’d like to give you the book for free (PDF, here’s the link, no optin necessary).
Would you please help me become a #1 bestselling author by purchasing my book on Kindle right now for 99¢? (here’s the link.)
(You can also offer a free training or some other valuable, easy to consume information.)
These steps helped me get my book to the #1 Bestseller position on Amazon, and to keep it high in the charts for weeks afterwards.
In many ways, it was a dance of seduction.
I seduced people into giving me the opportunity to transform their lives.
You can do the same. Wherever you are starting from, the world needs your brilliance. Right now.
Ben Gioia (“joy-a”) is one of the foremost authorities on conscious marketing and communication in the country today. He’s a speaker, coach, President of MarketingWithAHeart.com and the Marketing Board Chair for Conscious Capitalism Bay Area. Whether he’s speaking, leading seminars, training teams, or coaching one-on-one, Ben helps how leaders, organizations, groups, associations, and entrepreneurs transform business in the 21st century.