Numbers don't lie...or do they?
You may notice on some books there is a slogan that says “Best-Selling Author” or something of that variation. There are dozens of best seller lists and we can often be fooled by this title to think it means more than it does. Yes, it is great to be able to say this, but we also have to be mindful of the ways one can be qualified to be a best-selling author. We did a little research and found out some of the requirements to obtain this sought after title.
To be on “The Wall Street Journal Best-Seller List,” a book has to have sold 3,000 copies in the first week (429 per day).
To be on “The New York Times’ Best-Seller List,” a book has to have sold 9,000 copies in the first week (1,286 per day).
Since Amazon is a popular medium to buy books (paperback, Kindle, and audio included) their requirements are a little different and based on genre and category. It is also based on sales within that specific category. However, your book can be in multiple categories at once.
The key is the largest amount of sales in a specific period of time.
There are tons of lists and requirements to get on them, but how do you get the numbers? Here are a few tips to increase sales and position yourself to get the title of Best-Selling Author.
Pre-release marketing is a must
Creating a buzz is key. Use your social media and offline network to start talking about your book. Let people know what you’re working on. Get people excited about your work. If it ties into something you’ve discussed before, bring it back up. Plan a book cover reveal. Plan a book release party (virtual or physical). Reach out to blogs and influencers and ask for features. Start building your email list by offering a sneak peak. There are tons of ways to get the buzz about your new book going. The more effective ways to market, the more first-week sales you’ll get.
Stay in your lane
Niche writing is important for a number of reasons. For example, Dynamic Image specializes in inspirational fiction. We wouldn’t necessarily market to those who only read nonfiction or science fiction would we? Find out who your target audience is based on your genre and then you can begin to meet them where they are. You know what they like and where they spend their time. It’s easier to reach them that way and let them know about the awesome book you’re coming out with that will appeal to their entertainment desires. This is also helpful when picking a category to list your book on Amazon. Being number one in your category may be easier than being number one overall, but it is still something to be congratulated.
Even the “overnight internet sensations” will tell you that nothing about their popularity was over night. Most of them worked for years before one of their posts went viral. Hollywood stars who seem to have break out years will tell you that they’ve been in the game for decades, making you wonder how you were blind to their talent all this time. The key is consistency. The road to best-seller may include your debut novel, but more often than not, it doesn’t. Don’t stop writing and don’t stop promoting your work. You may have to find a new approach to get people interested. Not having a great following as a writer doesn’t always speak to your writing skill. Most of the time it speaks to your work ethic.
So while you make your push for a best-sellers list, remember that the quality of your work has to be up to par. No matter how many copies you sell, you always want to be able to back up the numbers with great content.
Christian Cashelle is the founder of Dynamic Image Publications. She is also a senior editor as well as an author of many titles, including Ava's Story.
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