7 tips for becoming a bestselling author

Want to know how to become a bestselling author? This post tells you exactly how. Good stuff!Today I’m switching it up and providing a (lightly edited) transcript of my latest podcast episode, 7 tips for becoming a bestselling author.

This episode was sponsored by my “Done For You Bestseller” program at  //rachelrofe.com/bestseller.

If you have a book that you want more exposure for, or just want the bestselling author title, this is for you.

Bonus: Click here to get the PDF version of this post.

See, I’ve been using Kindle since back in 2010. My first book on Kindle made $3,000 a month right away for a long time, and it inspired me to create 50+ more books over time.

Although I had great success at first, it was very difficult to consistently replicate. It seemed some of my books did well while others flatlined.

Because I’ve always been up for a good challenge, I spent a LOT of time figuring out how to engineer reliable success with Amazon. I’m now at the point where I can make pretty much any book an Amazon bestseller.

(The market has since changed and it’s not as easy to make that much *money* from one book consistently, but the bestseller, no problem.)

Truthfully, I don’t think this is a huge deal. If I’m 100% honest, I think the bestselling author title is a big of an ego metric. Most books don’t sell consistently well just because they’re bestsellers. You get in front of a lot of new people in the beginning, then sales generally fizzle off.

That said, people still seem to salivate over the idea of being a “bestselling author”. It instantly increases your credibility and authority in people’s eyes. A lot of people use that title to be able to raise their speaking fees, fill out events, raise their prices, and so on.

It also helps you stand out amongst joint venture partners and people in your industry, build your email list, and get in front of those new people in the beginning.

I’ve made most of my books bestsellers and have also made hundreds of other people “bestselling authors”. I actually have a 100% success rate with my done-for-you-bestseller service.

And to clarify, when I say “bestseller”, I mean bestSELLER. There’s a lot of people who will sell services where they promise to make you a bestseller, but when you dig deeper, they’re actually putting your book in the FREE store and asking random people to download the book for free. That gets you a good ranking in the free store, but it’s not really a bestseller, it’s a best “free download”. I feel bad for anybody who buys those services.

This post is all about how to become an actual bestSELLER. :)

Here are 7 of my highest leverage tips to get your book to the top of Amazon:

Bonus: Click here to get the PDF version of this post.

#1: Have an excellent book.

This is a little bit of an obvious one, but I’m going to call it out anyway.

I’d love to say that having a high quality book is enough. It would be nice if you could put a great book out it’d instantly go viral.

Unfortunately, we all know talented writers and artists who are great at what they do but are still broke because they don’t know how to market. Talent is important but usually can’t account for the entire picture.

Conversely, you can market a crappy book, but beyond the negative karma, you’ll get bad reviews.

#2: Use an attention-grabbing cover.

A cover is really, really important. If I ever have a book that isn’t doing well, the first thing I’ll change is the cover. One cover tweak can mean the difference between crickets and hundreds of sales.

I recommend having a cover image that describes whatever the book is about. If it’s a weight loss book, for example, it might be somebody who is healthy and trim, someone looking down at the scale with a smile, or maybe someone wearing their “fat jeans”.

When it comes to text, I find the books that do very well either have light text on a dark background or vice versa. It’s dark text on a light background.

#3: Choose the best category possible.

When you choose the categories to list your book under, pick the most specific ones possible. There are some categories that are crazy-competitive, like Business: General, where you’d have to fight very hard to stand out.

If you pick tighter categories – like, say, Business for Women or Business for Internet Marketing (I just made those up), it’ll be easier to get to the top because you’re not competing against as many people.

The other side benefit of this is that people who are looking for your specific type of book will be able to find you easier.

#4: Make sure your description is compelling.

Make sure your book description entices people to buy your book.

Look at other books in your niche and check out the keywords that they’re using.

What I would do is go on Amazon, type in whatever your niche is about, and then check out the bestseller ranking to see which ones are doing well. Every page has a bestseller ranking that looks like this:

bestseller rankingIf a book has a #1 bestseller rank, it’s the best selling book on Amazon.

Look for a few books in the top 50,000 in your niche and then start seeing if there are patterns in the titles, subtitles, and if there are words that people are using in their reviews. Write those down.

This is the language your market is using, so use that same verbiage in your book description.

#5: Have a catchy title.

When you create your title, if it makes sense, use those same keywords you found in your research.

This way your title conveys whatever the book is about, you know you’re using words that your market wants to hear about, and you’re basing a title off of words that have already proven to do well.

#6: Get momentum built up.

Make sure you have momentum built up for your launch.

Before you launch, give people review copies of your book. On the day your book goes live, have 5 (or more) people ready to leave you reviews (and hopefully buy your book). Reviews are important to Amazon readers. And if you can get people to buy the book, it’ll drive your sales ranking up, which you gets more exposure.

#7: Utilize Twitter.

Twitter is an exceptional place to post your book.

I use Twitter to share all of my books, even the ones in my pen names. (This also takes out the excuse that the only reason my books are bestsellers are because of my audience. Most of my books are under aliases.)

I use popular hash tags to get the word out. For example, if I have a book on gluten-free recipes, I’d use #glutenfree or #glutenfreebook if that’s something that people type in. You can just start typing in a hash tag on Twitter and then it’ll start to auto-populate hash tags that people use frequently, like this:

#authorThese hash tags can work VERY well. Sometimes the hash tags are my only marketing for books and they can still do well, depending on the niche.

Not interested in dealing with all of this?

If you don’t want to go through all of this, but still want the bestseller title for all of the side benefits, I also offer a service that can take care of it for you.

The way it works is that you contribute 2 pages or more to a book, and I compile your “chapter”, plus 19 other peoples’ chapters, into an anthology book. This is what I’ve done to make hundreds of people bestselling authors.

My latest service is available through July 1st, 2015, or until 20 people sign up, whatever comes first. You can find it here or by going directly to //rachelrofe.com/bestseller for all the details.

Bonus: Click here to get the PDF version of this post.

Want to know how to become a bestselling author? This post tells you exactly how. Good stuff!

How I got my book to #65 on Amazon in 5 days

This video goes over exactly how I got 6,364 book downloads in 5 days… and how my book got all the way to #65 on Amazon.

This was in January 2015, so it’s still very recent. Check the video out below (or get the bonus transcript here):


 

Bonus: Click here to get the transcript of this video.

Resources Mentioned In This Video:

Goodreads – A popular site for book readers.

MyFancyHands.com – The virtual assistant service I use and have been a member of for over 5 years.

Twitter – Follow me here.

Pinterest – Follow me here – I pin the best stuff!

JustRetweet – Where you can have people retweet for you

MindBodyGreen article – The article where I mentioned my book

How to have a better day with 5 minute morning boosters – The podcast episode I repurposed

RachelRofe.com/booklist – Where I mention all my books

Bonus: Click here to get the transcript of this video.

How I got my book to #65 on Amazon in only 5 days | Follow @rachelrofe for more :)

8 ways to sell more books

booksEven though writing a book is not easy for most people, many authors tell me that selling their books is far harder for them than writing them.

Most people are writers OR marketers – not both.

That said, here are some tips you can use to sell more copies of your book – even if you’re horrific at marketing:

1. Turn your book into an audiobook.

Audiobooks are a super-simple way to sell more copies of your books.  There are lots of people who only consume books by listening to them when working out, driving, or running errands. I find that offering audiobooks often accounts for 10-20% of all of my book sales.

There are lots of ways you can create an audio book. Read it yourself, hire a voice-over artist, or, if you’re based in the USA, go on ACX.com and work with a voiceover artist on a no-money-down, 50-50 royalty split. This makes it risk free for you.

2.  Post on Goodreads.

Goodreads is a social networking site for readers and it’s very powerful in getting the word out about your book. Studies show that more people buy books based off of Goodreads recommendations than Amazon reviews. Post your book on the site and get active there.

3. Get your book translated.

Many countries are hungry for new information. Depending on what your book topic is about, it could be very profitable to get your book translated into other languages. You can either pay for translations or use a site like Babelcube (thanks to Steve Scott for sharing that with me) that’ll work with you on a royalty split.

4. Put your book on more than just Kindle.

Use a free tool like SmashWords to distribute your book to Apple, B&N, OverDrive, Scribd, Oyster, Kobo, and more. If you’re not using the Kindle Select system, you may as well get the free sales from other places. There’s no cost for you to submit them.

5. Get a better cover.

Out of all of my tests, I’ve found that the #1 thing that helps increase book sales is a great cover. Make sure yours looks like something you’d find on a bookstore shelf.

Until recently, I always used this gal on Fiverr. She has been great, but I just tried hiring someone over at 99Designs.com to see if a more expensive cover will help book sales a lot more. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens. Send me a tweet in a week or so and I’ll tell you what performed better.

6. Offer bonuses for buying.

Use your social media and/or email list to offer a bonus for people buy your book. Not only does this give people incentive to buy from you, but when they do, your book’s sales rankings will increase. This will help even more people see your book.

7. Reach out to podcasters in your niche to do interviews.

There are lots of podcast hosts who are eager to get new content for their shows. Go to the iTunes store, do a search for your niche, and contact people who have shows in your field. You can offer to do interviews or submit episodes for them. This is a great win-win that lots of hosts go for.

8. Get more reviews.

There are all kinds of ways you can get reviews. Here are a few ideas: join a review exchange, beg your friends and family, post a Goodreads giveaway, offer Free Days, contact reviewers on Amazon who have reviewed similar books and offer them a free copy in exchange for their review.

Even if you follow one of these tips, you should see more book sales. If you follow multiple, expect to see a pretty spectacular compound effect.