Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Birth of a Bestselling Book Author

What IS a best-selling author?

You have to answer that in your own mind.

Technically, it's any book that makes it into the Top 100 list at ANY online or offline bookstore.

However, what does it mean to you?

Is it someone who sells 300-500 books in a day through online bookstores like Amazon.com and makes the top 10?

Is it only the person who makes it to #1?

Is it the person who sells their book from their own website and makes $10,000 in a few months?

Or does it have to be a specific list... like the New York Times best seller list?

What does it mean to you?

It's a tough call. But you CAN have it all.

Selling your book through an online or offline bookstore will mean less money for you upfront, but will provide you far more leverage in the long run.

Selling your book from your own website and taking your own orders will mean far more money in the bank for you initially, but you'll have to work a little harder on the back-end to get the recognition you deserve.

Both ways work. Neither way is right. It's really what's right for you.

Let's talk about the steps necessary to make your book a bestseller whether you want to do it through an online bookstore or from your own website.

1) Pick the specific day you want to become a best seller.

Focusing on a specific day is what provides you the leverage to sell a large amount of books quickly. Selling 500 books over 6 months is not as impressive as selling 500 books in one or two days.

2) Create your "what's in it for me?" offer.

Your book is a valuable resource for your clients. But selling it alone puts it up against all the other books already on the market for your subject. I don't like those odds.

What you need is something "extra" -- something that really let's the perspective buyer know that you want to help them.

If you were to sell your book (for let's say $20) and then offered everyone who purchased your book on the specific day you decided on in step 1 around $200 in bonuses from experts... do you think they'd be more likely to buy? And buy on that day?

Of course they would.

This is the step where you stop thinking about you and start thinking about the group of people you want to help by writing this book in the first place. Think of everything you can possibly offer to add value to your book and build a powerful arsenal of tools and resources.

When the potential buyer asks, "What's in it for me?" (which they always do)... give them TONS of answers.

3) Use the 12-step method to create a promotional sales letter.

Now that you've answered the "What's in it for me?" question, use the 12-step process to build a sales letter site for your book that explains it to the potential buyer.

They have a problem in their life. Your book is going to give them a solution for their problem... and a whole lot of "extras" if they buy on the specific day you've selected.

Tell them – using the proven 12-step process.

4) Leverage the relationships you've built.

Now, simply go back to the experts who provided you the bonus items for your book promotion, let them know the day you have picked as your bestseller day and ASK them if they would help you promote it on that day.

GIVE THEM A FREE COPY OF YOUR BOOK.

Don't be stingy. These are experts who have earned the right to be called an expert. You are asking them for a favor. Be generous enough to let them read your book first.

If you can afford it, send them a physical copy. If you can't, email them a digital copy with a short, concise explanation of what you are doing.

Pick a specific day to target your focused effort. Give an overwhelming amount of bonus reasons for people to buy your book on that day; and then leverage the relationships with experts to get them to help you promote your book.

Why would they want to? Some will want to give back for the success they've earned. Some will want to because by doing so their bonus item is getting in more people's hands (and their bonus item promotes them).

What will these experts use to help promote your book?

You guessed it... the "list" of their current clients.

Authors 25, 50 or 100 years ago would buy out their own first printing to make it appear their book was popular. Many "best sellers" used this tactic to get the Best Seller status so publishers would contract with them for future titles.

Tricky? Maybe. Successful? Absolutely.

Now it's your turn.

Now that you know HOW to become a best seller, let's address where to become a best seller.

Right now the 2 most popular bookstores for running best seller campaigns are Amazon.com and BN.com (Barnes and Noble).

To get your book listed in Amazon.com you can either:

Purchase the $149.95 option from Lulu.com for Global Distribution. This will get you listed in all major online and offline bookstores or go to Amazon.com and do it yourself.

If you take the "do it your self" route at Amazon, be sure to join Amazon.com's Advantage Program. They will walk you through the process of signing up and getting your book listed in their store.

If you want to get listed in Barnes and Noble (online or offline), then visit BarnsandNobel.com.

Lulu.com will make both of these a simple process because you'll already have an ISBN and you can order just a few books initially to get started with Amazon.com and/or Barnes and Noble.

Let's talk through a few examples of how the Best Selling promotion may work:

1.) Leverage experts

We've already covered this one.

If I was writing the Pet Name book, I could find experts who are currently providing products and services to pet enthusiasts. Ask for bonuses and/or content from them. Then let them know the day I'm going to promote it and ask for their help.

I would provide them a digital or physical copy of the book to review. I would also ask what I could do to assist them. I've got to make it worth their while to help me.

2.) Leverage businesses

Rather than relying on 1 sale at a time from individual readers, I could approach businesses that sell pet-related products and see if I could get a licensing agreement with them where they buy a large quantity of books at one time.

I could sell 500 books to 500 different readers or I could sell 500 books to 1 or 2 pet stores.

3.) Leverage home town support

If it's a localized subject – like a travel guide to North Carolina beaches – you could focus on specific businesses along the North Carolina coast to promote your book.

You could also contact local radio and/or TV stations to get publicity for your book promotion.

The biggest key to your best selling book promotion... don't just go through the motions. Make It An EVENT! And have FUN with it.

Learn how to become a published book author! Download Brian's free e-book, Book Writing for Fun and Profit, at www.BookCatcher.com. Visit Brian's blog, Book Publishing News.

9 comments:

LisaC said...

Thanks for such a thorough posting! I have self-published for about 8 years and have been able to make tens of thousands of dollars for my nonprofit organization, Rest Ministries. Since I write in a niche market, books for Christians with chronic illness. with a traditional publisher, I would have had the books out of print and had to buy backstock. Self-publishing has allowed me many more marketing opportunities than having to work on the timetable and needs of a publisher.

www.youcansellmorebooks.com

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