I recently wrote a short book on working out. It’s called, Repetition and Resistance. People have seemed to really like it. Plus, on the day it came out, it became a #1 Amazon Bestseller. And in more than one category!
This was really a treat for me. Because the reason I wrote this book was to distill what I knew about working out and to give people a simple 1-page plan they could use to build a lot of strength with.
I actually used writing this book as an exercise for writing my other book, which I have told you about. That one is coming but I’m still working on it.
How To Hit The Bestsellers List
I’m not actually sure how amazon tracks sales or ranks their books. Which, somebody was just asking me about that. They said, “Pat, do you know how amazon tracks sales or ranks their books?” And you know what I told them? Well I told them, “Ben”–because this guy’s name was Ben–“no I do not.”
But I do believe it has something to do with how many you move per every couple of hours/days. I could be wrong and probably am. But regardless of how they do it, a key part to getting on any best seller list, Amazon or otherwise, is to have a strong surge right at the start.
That means a spike is more powerful than a plateau. You are better off, in other words, selling 700 copies in a day, and nothing the rest of the week, than selling 100 copies a day, evenly.
Now obviously you would like to have both. But if say you only thought you could get 700 people to buy your book, you are better off getting them to do so all at once, rather than scattered throughout here and there. Density matters.
Why Do Bestseller’s Lists Matter?
One reason being on a bestseller’s list matters is because it’s cool. You can now say that you are “officially” a bestselling author the next time you’re out at dinner with people. So that’s a benefit, sort of. But also is the reach it creates is pretty amazing.
By getting on a best sellers list this brings your book in front an audience who otherwise would not have seen it: People who are keeping tabs of what’s trending.
Another thing, which is interesting, is how Amazon gave me what seems like free advertising by featuring my book in the “Hot New Releases” section. I don’t think you can even pay to be in there. I think that’s something you have to earn.
Who and What You Are Competing Against
You may have seen that I was outranking some of the big hitters. People like Tim Ferris and the guy who invented Nike and all that. These folks are not only smart marketers but have much bigger publishers behind them as well. Some of these publishers and some of these authors spend a lot of money to keep those books on the best sellers list.
A few of these people/publishers even spend more money than they make back to keep their books on the best sellers list. What I’m saying is there are people who assume a loss on the front end just for the exposure. The strategy here is even though they lose money on book sales, people tend to get back to their website or whatever and the cost is recouped there.
So it’s good to know that some of the people you’re going up against on some of these lists may be spending a good deal of money to be there–more than they are even making on actual sales of the book.
How I Hit #1 On the Best Sellers List
I was not intending to hit the best sellers list. All I wanted was just to get my book on Amazon and use it as an advertising platform, which I’ll be doing later.
But I decided to send an email about my book anyway because I thought people might like it and when I woke up I found it sitting at #1 in short reads and creeping into the Top 5 in healthy living, and fitness and exercise. So then I was like, “Oh shoot. I bet we can get #1!”
Now I will tell you something: It’s unlikely you’ll be able to hit a best sellers list (at least in any significant category) without having a strong following and a good start. That was really the only way I was able to do it.
Mostly my strategy involved a simultaneous (meaning at the same time) push on social media and to my email list. I didn’t do any kind of big push or whoop this thing up to be something it’s not. I pretty much just said I how I wrote a short book you can use to build a lot strength with, and if you like it I would love a review.
I also was not shy about asking people to do this for me and telling them how I made the book only $1 so anyone can afford it and how important I thought it was to get this kind of information out there. This seemed to resonate as I got such a good response.
The truth is when you do good by people and give them stuff that is nice, they are usually very happy to help you out.
PS – If you click HERE, then I will teach you about business-y stuff.