I’ve published 14 books on the side so far, and 7 out of those books made it to the Amazon Best Seller list.
My latest book, “Hybrid Work Management” became a #1 Amazon Best Seller in 8 different categories. Your book can as well.
First, a little secret:
It’s a lot easier than you think to become an Amazon Best Seller.
And while it’s more of a vanity metric (i.e., it won’t matter that much for sales), it’s a cool designation that you can call out as part of your profile.
Here’s how to get on the list:
Step 1: Write a book people want & write it well
Follow Rule #1 (which is to write a really, really useful book that’s short and solves a problem). While it’s possible to get on the best seller list if you write a subpar book (many authors have), you’ll end up hurting your brand in the long run. Legacy > currency.
Step 2: Design a decent cover and write a solid book description
How you showcase your book matters. Avoid using a free cover design tool and steal the copy from a few books descriptions that you find helpful (caveat: steal small, not big).
Step 3: List the book in low-competition categories (up to 10)
This is a tricky part that’ll take you a bit of time and work to research on Amazon. Simply Google “How to research low-competition book categories on Amazon” and you’ll get plenty of resources. Expect to spend a few hours on this to get it right. If you want to save time and use a hassle-free paid tool (like I do now), check out Publisher Rocket. It has a feature that helps you find low-competition categories in seconds.
Step 4: Set your book’s price to $0.99
Amazon tracks sale numbers for bestseller lists (i.e., how many books are sold). It doesn’t matter if your book is being sold for $15.99 or $2.99. A sale is counted as a sale. So it’s in your best interest to price it as low as you can during launch to reduce friction (the lowest price you can list your book at on Amazon is $0.99). While you won’t make a lot of money (your cut is around $0.35 per book), you’ll significantly improve your sales numbers.
Step 5: Focus all your marketing efforts on a single launch day
To get on an Amazon Best Seller list, you need a high sales velocity. This means that you need to get a high number of sales in a short period of time (preferably within a 24-hour period). So focus all your promotion efforts on a single launch day. Send out email blasts to your subscribers. Post on social media. Text family and friends. Consider paid ads as well.
That’s pretty much it in a nutshell. It’s a process I’ve followed for several years with every single book that hit the bestseller list.