Okay, let me start with a disclaimer. I don’t claim to be an expert of this matter. So far I only have 2 books that have ranked number 1 in the Hot New Release in Amazon. Though my first book, How to Survive Mondays: Eight Employee Guides to be Great and Grateful was qualified for the Best Seller List, my first official Amazon bestseller is still my third book, Millennial Marriage: Practical Strategies for Young Couples to Plan a Debt-free Wedding and Start a Happy Ever After!
What happened with How to Survive Mondays?
I recycled my Amazon Standard Identification Number or ASIN. It’s Amazon’s version of International Standard Book Number or ISBN.
In 2012, I published a short fiction entitled, “The Accident Unresolved.” I pulled it down and replaced the content with “How to Survive Mondays.”
So technicality, The Accident Unresolved was my first book. And if you’re going to check in Amazon, you’ll see that “How to Survive Mondays” was published in 2012. Truth is, it was published in 2015.
If only I knew that date of publication is an important factor in Amazon Bestseller List, I wouldn’t have reused an old ASIN.
Now I can only claim that my first bestseller in Amazon is Millennial Marriage, and not How to Survive Mondays.
It may not mean much to anyone or to literary authors but it’s a big deal to me. It’s one of the things I put on my vision board – Bestseller!
It’s not the same as being in the New York Times’ Bestseller list but it’s my first official best seller so far.
A few days after I published it, it ranked number 18, then 5, 2. When it became number 1 again, I didn’t want to refresh the browser. I feared that if I did, it would disappear from that rank.
Two weeks later, the Millennial Marriage was still on the number 1 Amazon Hot New Releases!
Probably I am the most astonished author on earth! Astonished but not surprised. I expected it. Or in a modest way of saying that, I hoped that what I had researched would work.
I’ve spent time researching and learning from people who have done it. One of my favorite gurus is Chandler Bolt. I listened to his audiobooks. I bought his 3 books related to writing and book publishing. If you want to check it out, just click the book of your choice. It has an affiliate link in Amazon
I also studied how other bestsellers did it.
But why is ranking number 1 in Amazon worth the bother?
Aside from the fact that it will make you feel like you have accomplished something, ranking number 1 in Amazon makes your book have its free promotion. It means that it will have its maximum exposure to potential Amazon buyers.
The competition in Amazon is tough. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions of books are published in Amazon. And how can you possibly win the competition against the established authors like Dave Ramsey, Steven Covey or Gary Chapman?
Well, it’s not impossible. People nowadays want to read books not only because of the authors’ name but because they want to read something that will solve a specific problem, address an issue or talk about something that they care about.
I have seen unknown authors who became best sellers in Amazon. Apparently I’m one of those unknown authors.
Now that I have “discovered” the five simple techniques of ranking number one in Amazon, I want to share these simple techniques to fellow “unknown authors,” so that they too can become best sellers in Amazon.
Here are 5 of the Simple but Effective Techniques to making sure that your book will rank number 1 in Amazon:
I’m one of those who cringe at the thought of “blowing his own horn” on social media.
But I have learned from experts that in any business, you have to be the number one fan of your own product. You should not wait for other people to do the marketing for you, unless you can afford to hire a promoter. It’s hard to survive these days if you just wait for someone to market your book for you.
“Well I’ve got thick skin and an elastic heart…” Sia Furler in her popular song Elastic Heart.
Thanks to Facebook and other social media platform, you can promote your book for free. That’s what I did. I didn’t like it at first. Probably because I didn’t want to be ridiculed.
OMG! He’s so ambitious. Who does he think he is?
Well, that’s part of it.
You just have to take it all in and post your announcement on Facebook. You’ll be surprised at how many people want to support you.
When people responded to my announcement, my faith in humanity was restored. I wasn’t expecting it but there are still good souls left in this world. 🙂
Some of them are even willing to share your campaign to their friends and connections. That happened to me during my pre-release Facebook campaign.
2. Book Cover.
Your book cover is the first thing that people will see online. A good-selling book cover is something that captures potential buyers. A good-selling book cover has 3 important factors.
Good-selling Book Cover Factor #1. Thumbnail.
The design has to look catchy even in small thumbnails.
Good-selling Book Cover Factor #2. Color Scheme.
Use 2-3 color combinations. Make sure that the colors are complimenting and relevant to the message of your book. Humans have short attention span and they get easily overwhelmed with too many colors. Have simple yet bold color combinations that will catch the attention of prospective buyers without shouting at them.
Good-selling Book Cover Factor #3. Clean and Classy Font.
The title should be readable even as a small thumbnail. Your title must be big enough but not too big to appear that it’s shouting at the reader. Unless you’re a well-known author, it’s best to reduce the size of your name in the cover. Yes, I didn’t like the sound of it when I first heard it. But it’s the truth.
First, choose the ones where competition is not too high.
Second, choose two different categories. Don’t choose 2 subcategories under one big category. For example, your book is about Business and Money. It’s a big mistake if you choose Finance and Accounting subcategories, which are both under Business and Money category. Doing this will hurt your bestseller chance. Instead, choose one subcategory under Business and Money and another from Nonfiction or any other relevant category.
How do I know which categories are not so competitive? That’s another story. Let’s talk about that in another content.
The keywords are combination of words that your potential readers will most likely use to search your type of book.
Make sure that the keywords that you’ll input are the ones that many people will use in Amazon or even in Google. Don’t mind the grammar. Don’t even mind the spelling.
Here’s what I found out…
More people search the word “Millenials” than “Millennials.”
More people search the “phrase couples goals” than “couple goals.”
More people search the phrase “biggest solar system in the world” than biggest solar system in the universe.”
But that’s crazy. They don’t even make sense grammatically or logically.
Yeah I know. And it’s not about you. And it’s not the fault of Google or Amazon. It’s just what some people search. That’s all.
Now that you and I know this crazy secret, let’s take advantage of it for our book.
How do I know what specific keywords to use? Well, let’s talk about that in another content.
5. Timing is King.
Why not Monday?
Well, Monday is the busiest day of the week. People won’t have time to shop around because they’re busy catching up a lot of things on this day.
Have you tried visiting a grocery store on a Monday? It’s the most peaceful day of the week to shop!
Tuesday is the safest day according to The Guardian. Pace starts to catch up from the rush-feel of Monday. While Friday and Saturday are the worst days to launch digital products. It’s considered as dead days in publishing. People are out to relax and party on Fridays and Saturdays.
Sundays are also a good option to launch you book.
There is also a proper timing for free promo, announcement, etc.