This is the first post in a three-part series.
You can find many blog posts and articles, as well as course, that teach you how to produce a bestseller. Many of them focus upon promotional tactics, like one-day marketing campaigns, joint ventures, free days, and pre-sales. However, you can produce books—blogged books or books you write in some other manner—that become Amazon bestsellers (or even New York Times bestsellers) all by themselves—just because they are valuable books that target their markets well. These are the books that stay on the Amazon Top 100 List in a category (or two or three) for weeks, months and years, rather than showing up for an hour or a day and then disappearing forever.
I know this, because I’ve done it. How to Blog a Book, a blogged book, has been on at least one Amazon Top 100 list, if not two or three, almost—not every—day since it’s release in 2012. The Author Training Manual has also been on and off the Amazon bestseller list since its release in Spring 2014; it hasn’t enjoyed the consist bestseller status that How to Blog a Book has enjoyed, but you can find it on the list at least weekly.
More recently, I released three e-books:
- The Write Nonfiction NOW! Guide to Writing a Book in 30 Days (a booked blog)
- Authorpreneur: How to Build a Business Around Your Book (a blogged book)
- The Nonfiction Book Proposal Demystified: An Easy-Schmeasy Guide to Writing a Business Plan for Your Book (both blogged and booked)
Each one of these e-books made it to the Amazon Top 100 list the very first day—without much promotion at all. Two of them were named Hot New Releases (in Authorship). All three of them were on and off the Amazon bestseller list for weeks after release—mostly on, however. Authorpreneur stayed on the Top 20 to Top 60 List (in Authorship) for two weeks straight. The Write Nonfiction NOW! Guide to Writing a Book in 30 Days stayed on the Top 20 to Top 40 List (in Authorship) for a full week.
I’ve had as many as four of my books on one Amazon bestseller list at the same time—without any type of promotion happening on that day or in that week.
I tell you this not to brag but to demonstrate that you can produce bestsellers over and over again without a ton of promotion. Not that promotion isn’t important, mind you. It is, and I’m about to do some additional promotion for all three of those e-books.
I utilize three primary strategies when I produce books of any type. As noted, it typically produces a bestselling book. In this three-part series, I will explain those strategies.
Emulate Books That Sell
When I ideate books, I try to emulate books that have sold well over time. This strategy requires paying attention to a particular Amazon bestseller list. For example, prior to deciding to write, or to blog, Authorpreneur, I noticed an e-book on the Authorship list that had stayed there for several weeks. Over time, it remained on the list, but I’d already decided that the premise of that book was a good one, but that I could do a better job than that particular author had done.
I had also done a competitive analysis, which is the second part of finding bestselling models and emulating them. You have to take time to study those books and determine if you can produce something better and unique.
If that book will target the same market, you are on the right track. If it also does a better or different job of solving target readers’ problems, or answering their questions, there is a high likelihood your book will enjoy the same type of success as the books you have studied.
3 Tips for Putting This Strategy to Use
To put this strategy to use:
- Spend time watching the Amazon or New York Times (or other) bestseller lists in the categories in which you plan to publish books.
- Conduct an analysis of the books that are selling consistently (staying on the Amazon Top 100 List or some other bestseller list) and that spark book ideas.
- Determine how you can write a different book that will be better or offer more value but target the same market (or your market).
Check my next post for part two in this series.