I think every writer has thought about being a best seller, whether it’s New York Times (I’m not there, yet, myself), Amazon, top of the category, or whatever. It’s social proof in a way that says we’re good writers, or at the very least we’re someone who’s told a good story.
But I DID hit the best seller list! I got up to number 1 in Urban Fiction and Urban Romance on Amazon which I was very proud of.
My latest book No Matter What reached the top of those genres and I did it by doing three proven things that I do for every one of my releases. And all of my releases after the first book had hit number one in those categories. You can read the first chapter here.
All of the things I did can definitely be copied which is why I’m sharing with you.
1. I hired a professional editor.
I’m not going to lie. I thought about going without an editor for my first book because I figured if I proofread it enough then I won’t need to hire a stranger to do it for me. I was low on money and didn’t really know too much about investing in myself or my business. Thank goodness other bloggers such as Joanna Penn changed my mind! What a great investment.
I see bad reviews on Amazon from books in my same genre and the first thing they say is bad grammar, poor spelling, no editor, and I’m just so relieved that I don’t get those comments. I’m not saying I don’t have any one stars but it’s definitely not because of poor editing.
I’ve hired C. S Lakin and BubbleCow as my editors before. Check them out if you’re looking for someone!
2. I hired a professional book cover designer
I don’t know about you, but I can hardly draw or use computer programs so I know I wouldn’t be able to make my own book cover. I mean, of course I could try but I needed a book cover that is going to catch new reader’s eye…in a good way that is. It has to match the theme of the book and it has to show the genre. In short, too much thinking when I can be writing instead.
I went with Derek Murphy from Creative Indie and he was great! I definitely recommend him.
I actually had someone put a review on my book and they said they actually clicked on it to read what it was about because I had a dark cover that was different from the rest of the books on sale. That was for When Love Hurts, my first book.
3. I inserted an email sign up at the back of each of my books.
Best. Idea. Ever. Seriously. This is probably the absolute main reason why my books reached so high on the lists so quickly (same day of release or next day). I had over 1,200 subscribers who signed up because they wanted to be the first to know when my next book is going to be released. Then I told them. All of them on the same day and at the same time. That amount of sales and time works well with Amazon’s algorithms and after a few hours the book started to rank. Higher and higher and higher.
I’m not even selling thousands in one day or anything crazy like that. Hundreds, yes, but it’s the volume of people in a given hour that makes you rank higher.
Without me sending an email to my subscribers I highly doubt that my sales would have reached any list. For my first book, when I didn’t have people to email, I just had to wait until people took a chance on the book and left a review. I had my sign up form at the back but no one to email and no new book to send new people too. It was a hard time but I just got started on the next book and that’s what we all have to do.
Write a book. Do it professionally with an editor and a cover designer and an email subscriber list to the back of your book. I use Mailchimp which is free up to 2,000 subscribers! I think it’s great for new writers just getting started. I actually still consider myself a new writer just getting started compared to a lot of writers in this online writing world because I’m still learning. Hell, we all are.
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