Blog to Book Project — Improving Your Chances of Becoming an Amazon Best Seller

resized_bestsellerEveryone wants to be the author of a best seller. Once you have that moniker, chances are you’ll sell more books because people are drawn to success. You might also have more opportunities to promote your business, speak as an authority at functions, and make more money. It’s a status thing. 

Becoming a best-selling author on Amazon isn’t always easy, but there are a few things you can do to increase the odds in your favor.

Bestseller status is calculated by Amazon with actual book sales. A book that successfully reaches #1 has recently sold more than any other book in that category. Sales aren’t consistent across Amazon sites. Therefore, if your book is selling well in the U.K., it might not meet the count to become a U.S. bestseller. 

Amazon’s bestseller algorithm has a predictive component. So a sudden spike in sales might not be enough to launch your book among the stars. You’ll have more success with a sustained period of high sales. 

You can increase your chances of hitting that bestseller mark by taking a serious look at your:

  • Categories
  • Keywords
  • Cover
  • Title and subtitle
  • Blurb
  • Reviews
  • Introduction

categories

Categories

When you uploaded your book, you had the option to choose two categories that you felt best represented the theme of your work. What you might not know is that you can request up to eight more categories, as long as you can justify your book being classified in that way. All you need to do is contact the KDP people (http://www.kdp.amazon.com/contact-us) with that request.

You should research your category choices carefully. Sometimes, the same categories are not available for print books as they are for Kindle books. Ideally, to improve your chances of best-seller status, you should look for categories that don’t have a lot of competition but still fit your book’s theme.

You can see all the current categories for Kindle books here and for print books here.

Keywords

If you want the right readers to find your book, keywords are another important aspect. You’ll have the option to include up to seven keywords when you upload your manuscript. Don’t be afraid to use phrases instead of single words here. For example, “How to retire in Mexico” is probably more searchable then just “retirement.”

Make sure your keywords don’t violate Amazon’s policies. The key is to think like a reader. If you were searching for your book, what phrases would you use? Do some searching on Amazon and see what results you get.  

Cover

A picture is worth a thousand words. Make sure your cover is eye-catching and representative of your book. 

Title and Subtitle

An interesting title and subtitle that hints at what readers will find inside, or outright tell them, will improve sales.

Book Blurb

The book description is key to convincing readers who are on the fence about your book. Make sure your book blurb shines.

Book Reviews

Readers give often quite a bit of credence to the opinion of others when it comes to their book selections. Work on getting quality book reviews.

Attention-Grabbing Introduction

With the Look Inside option, you have the chance to dazzle your potential reader with your prose. Don’t waste this opportunity with acknowledgments or other items that can be moved to the back matter.

Once you’ve tweaked these factors to optimize your chances, then the best thing you can do to reach bestseller stardom is to write a great book and market the heck out of it. 

Assignment: Optimize your book for bestseller status.

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book it book cover

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