How to Launch a Bestselling Book on Amazon! (Part 1 of 3)
Ever since I launched my book, Never Work Again: 6 Secrets to Earning a Play-check Instead of a Pay-check to the #1 spot on Amazon on October 23, 2012 and had 2,128 downloads in 1 day…people have been asking me to help them with their books.
Aspiring authors want to know what it takes to stack the cards in their favor so they too can have a #1 book on the Amazon bestsellers list.
I have a private coaching program that I run at www.bestsellingauthorprogram.com where I do these book launches for my clients and also teach them how to do it themselves.
I’ve now helped over 2 dozen authors get their books to the #1 Amazon Best Sellers list! You can take a look at some of my “Authors” by visiting my Graduates page.
The students in my program know that there are 3 phases to a book launch:
- The Pre-Launch
- The Launch
- The Post-Launch
To have a successful book launch and to get your book to #1 on Amazon, you really need to do all three. This blog post will cover Phase 1: The Pre-Launch, and then I’ll do 2 more blog posts in the series with the next one being the actual book launch and the third one being the post-launch.
So let’s start with what to do in the “Pre-Launch” Stage…
Step 1: Creating a Killer Title!
You’ve probably heard the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover”?
People may not always judge a book by its cover, but they will judge a book by its TITLE. A boring title can literally kill book sales. In contrast, a compelling title increases sales and is one part of the key components of a bestseller.
So you’re probably wondering “What’s the secret to creating a killer title?”
The key in creating a killer title or bestselling title is whether it is able to pass this 5-question test:
Question 1: Is the title easy to remember a week later? Is it sticky, memorable, and easy to say out loud?
Question 2: Does the title create curiosity? Does it make you want to know more about the book?
Question 3: Does the title/subtitle imply value for the reader? Is there an implied promise or an answer to the reader’s ultimate question, “What’s in it for me?” What are the benefits to the reader?
Question 4: Would a reader feel cool if someone saw them reading a book with that title? Readers have egos, and titles that people deem offensive or out-of-date can hinder sales. (i.e., the “Dummies” book series comes to mind).
Question 5: Does the title help build the author’s brand and enable the creation of complimentary spin-off resources, such as a multi-book deal for novelists (i.e. – trilogy) or assessments, seminars, coaching, and curriculum for non-fiction authors?
The title is the first thing people see when looking for books on Amazon, so make it memorable, exciting and different!
Step 2: Having an Awesome Cover Made for your Book:
I’ve researched lots of book designers and did you know some of the best designers charge thousands of dollars to design a cover for their clients. If you go to this site, http://www.fostercovers.com/ you can see George Fosters’ portfolio of bestselling book covers! Don’t skimp on having your cover look professional. You don’t have to pay thousands, but you shouldn’t be doing it yourself if you’re not a graphics designer.
Here’s a great cover as an example that is a bestselling book:
Step 3: Make sure you have a “HOOK” for your BOOK!
One of my clients Glenn Stevens who runs a martial arts school in Australia joined my Amazon Best Sellers program a few months ago and wanted to write a book on Women’s Self Defense. When I asked him what the title was and to send me a mock cover, this is what he sent:
To me, this was boring…generic…and lacked a good “hook”!
After reading Glenn’s manuscript (which was excellent) one of the things that jumped out at me was how women were very trusting by nature and how Glenn was able to show how a Predator thinks as well as how a Predator selects easy targets to victimize.
After discussing this with my client, we came up with a brand new title, sub-title and image for the book cover:
We launched Glenn’s book on August 6, 2015, and in 2 days we had 2,300 downloads of his book! His book, Don’t Be a Victim, remains on the bestsellers list and he’s already been on 2 radio shows following the launch of his bestselling book.
So here’s some suggestions on coming up with a “hook” for your “book”:
The key is to start with an end in mind:
- Who are you writing to?
- What problem are you solving for them?
- What do you offer?
- How will this book attract them?
Then, create a HOOK: You need a 3-word main title that provokes curiosity or emotional responses!
Use the sub-title to give the “promise of the book”, the “benefits” of the book and an “explanation” of the book.
But don’t be too wordy…keep it simple.
Glenn’s book has a hook…what predators don’t want you to know! The title, Don’t be a Victim, creates an emotional response and the subtitle promises benefits and an explanation of the book.
Step 4: Create Great Content so Amazon will Promote YOUR Book!
I always tell my clients that great content is the only thing that sets you apart from the other 2.5+ million ebooks on Amazon! Once I get a clients’ book to the Amazon Best Sellers list, then that book takes on a life of it’s own. I’ve stacked the cards in the authors favor because now their book is visible (it’s on the most searched list on Amazon — the Bestsellers list) and now Amazon is promoting this book in many ways (Facebook ads, PPC ads, Hot New Releases lists, Top Rated List, Movers and Shakers list, Recommendations list, New for Your list, and MORE!)
So make sure you deliver on your promise by writing great content. These days I think shorter is better. You don’t have to write the “manifesto” on your topic…just write a 50-100 page book and if there are many facets to your topic then consider writing a series of books on those topics.
Step 5: Professional Editing, Formatting and a Introduction that “Sells” your book!
I have all of my clients books professionally edited and formatted before we publish them on Amazon. This is critical to your success. You can find great editors on elance if you don’t have one.
In my clients books, I always include an Introduction in the front of the book that sells the book. It is based on my 8-step introduction formula and it is a selling piece. If you want people to purchase your book, you have to “sell” them on the problem, “sell” them on who you are, “sell” them on how you are going to solve their problem, and “sell” them on why they absolutely must buy your book.
So many authors just go right into the material and information in their book and miss out on this valuable piece of real estate which is the “preview” section of the book. Don’t make that mistake! If you want to see a great introduction that I wrote for my clients book, you can take a look at Glenn Steven’s book, Don’t be a Victim.
Step 6: Publishing the Book the “Right Way” on Amazon (this is where most authors mess up!)
This is the biggest place authors mess up on. It’s only because they don’t know what they don’t know. I’ve been launching books to the Amazon Bestsellers list since 2013, so I consider myself an expert in knowing how to set up books on Amazon; particularly ebooks which is what I specialize in.
I cannot cover in detail, everything you need to know about how to publish your book on Amazon, but here are the critical pieces you need to understand:
- Researching and selecting the best keywords so people can find your book. I think most authors guess at this piece. I actually spend hours researching the keywords for my clients books so that people searching Amazon can find them. Keywords are not a guessing game. It’s based on actual words people type into the amazon search bar. Just like if you were on google searching for something, you would type in keywords in the search bar. It’s the same on Amazon. Just think of Amazon has a big search engine for books! Keywords are critical when publishing your book on Amazon and you are only allowed 7!
- Selecting the perfect categories for your book. Unfortunately, most authors have no clue about category selection on Amazon. I could probably do a 1-2 hour webinar on this topic alone! Amazon only allows you 2 categories when publishing your book. Unfortunately, the categories that they give you to choose from when your logged into your Amazon KDP account are NOT the same categories that you find on amazon.com! This causes a big problem when publishing your book. Putting your book in the wrong category will prevent people from finding it. Again, this is not a guessing game. I purchased software that allows me to analyze the 11,000+ categories and bestsellers lists on Amazon and put my clients books in the “right” categories!
- Pricing your book right. Amazon controls the pricing of ebooks because if you price your book between 2.99 and 9.99 Amazon gives you a 70% royalty, however, if you price it under 2.99 or over 9.99, then you only get 35%. Do you see how Amazon wants you to be in that 2.99 to 9.99 price range? I have a whole pricing strategy that I use for my clients books which would take me hours to explain, but I’ll try to give you the Cliff’s note version. When you are first publishing your book on Amazon, your goal is not to make money. Your goal is to get on the Amazon Best Sellers list so people searching that list will find you and so that Amazon will start promoting your book. So you start out low…and then test the market by incrementally increasing the price of your book. I have many authors that think they are going to sell their ebook at $9.99 starting out and it’s not going to happen. People are now “price conditioned” thanks to Amazon (sarcasm) and they really don’t want to pay $9.99 for an ebook unless it is a celebrity or well known author!
- Having a great book description. Once I write my 8-step Introduction for my clients books, I usually cut and paste a lot of that material and use it for the book description. So it is part “selling” your book in the book description and making sure you include what your book is about using the keywords people are searching for.
- Reviews, Reviews and Reviews. Before I do the big launch for my clients book, I actually do what I call a “soft launch”. A soft launch is where I publish the book on Amazon very quietly and the author and I work on getting at least 5 reviews on their book before we do the book launch. Reviews are part of the Amazon Algorithm and the more you have, the more Amazon likes you and will promote your book. I’ve found through testing that an author should have at least 5 reviews up prior to launch date. So work on getting your reviews before you do your book launch.
Well, I think you have enough to work on for now! This is a 3-part blog series and this was part 1 of the “pre-launch” section. I will write the next blog post on the actual “launch” of your book and then the last post will be the “post-launch” section.
Yes, anyone can publish a book on Amazon and that is a double-edged sword because there is a lot of “junkie” type books on Amazon because of this. However, if you want to become a #1 Amazon Best Selling author then you have to go above and beyond what the “ordinary” authors are doing and focus on publishing quality, quality, quality.
One of my authors, Nancy Hartwell, whose book, Harem Slave, has been on the #1 Bestsellers list since we launched it in April 2013, has revised and improved her book dozens of times over the past 2 1/2 years! That’s the beauty of publishing ebooks is you can easily update, revise and improve your book.
Thanks for reading and if you’d like to have a strategy session with me about your book, you can do so by clicking here.