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From Karen Saunders

Your Branding, Marketing & Self-Publishing Coach

It Takes a Community to Make Your Book an Amazon Bestseller

At a recent Colorado Independent Publishers Association (CIPA) meeting we had a panel speak on the topic of how to make your book an “Amazon Bestseller.” One of the panelists was Marcia Reece whose book, Secrets of a Marriage Mouse became the #1 bestseller in three Amazon book categories: Marriage, Personal Relationships, and Health. She shared with us a few of the many very specific techniques she used to sell 3700 books in 3 days on Amazon.com.

Marcia occasionally offers one-day workshops where she explains ALL the important steps in this process. Shown below are some of the highlights of her presentation:

  1. Pick one format and one online retailer to focus on for sales on your launch date: choose either the print or ebook format of your book, and either the Amazon or Barnes & Noble’s site. If you try to do more, you will dilute the sales.
  2. The only way you can reach Amazon bestseller status is to reach out to everyone in your network to help support you with your campaign. This can be a 1-6 month effort involving a lot of hard work on your part to coordinate all the people, steps and processes.
  3. First you need to contact your circle of friends, family and business associates and ask them to support you in your efforts to launch your book and become a bestseller. Build up energy by keeping in touch with these folks through social media, your blog, ezines and other methods of communication during the entire process of publishing your book.
  4. Widen your circle by researching well-known published authors and bloggers who write in your field. Establish relationships with experts in your genre who have a lot of credibility and followers. First, support THEM by writing great reviews on their books and then ask if they will support you with your bestseller campaign.
  5. Send your community of supporters an “I’m launching a bestseller” email that explains how you want them to assist you, and what they will get out of doing that for you. Specifically, you will ask them to promote your book and offer an electronic downloadable gift to be included when a customer buys a copy of your book from Amazon on a specific date. The gift can be a free service, ebook, coaching session, etc. The collection of gifts from all your participating supporters will be offered on your website with a link to the Amazon sales page. All customers who buy your book on the specified date will get all the gifts. Each of your supporters will gain exposure to a whole new market by offering their free gift on your website.
  6. You will prepare written scripts to give to your participating supporters to post on their FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts and to send out to their op-in lists of followers. These promotions will be repeated several times, including one week before your launch and the night before your launch.
  7. You will need to keep in touch with your participating supporters and help them with any questions they have about the written scripts, technology and promotion steps.
  8. Ask your community to go to your Amazon book page and write 5-star reviews, using carefully chosen tags and key words you’ve given them. Ask them to put the book on their wish list too.
  9. You will need to maximize your book’s Amazon sales page and your author page by using all the features Amazon offers booksellers on their page, including the book’s description, “Look Inside!,” editorial reviews, Listmania, etc. among others.
  10. Include a picture of the book and a picture of yourself and 3-4 more pictures that relate to the book on your Amazon book sales page.
  11. Make sure you’ve picked the right category. Some categories are much larger than others and may be more difficult to get to bestseller status or #1 because of other strong entries in that category. Some publishers pick obscure categories for an easier route to the top.
  12. Any books that you plan to give away buy from Amazon on the date of your launch so those numbers are counted too. Buy the books individually and have them delivered separately to each recipient. (Don’t buy a large quantity and have them all delivered to you).
  13. Watch your book sales on the launch date and take screen shots of the bestseller ranking.

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