How To Create A Best Selling Book
Having a Number One Book is the dream of most authors. But is it realistic? Just how does one create a best selling book?
There are currently over 60 million books in publication so statistically, the chances of making it to the top position are… well, 60 million to one. About the same chances of winning the Euro Millions Lottery.
However, all is not lost. This very fragmentation of the market can actually act in one’s favor. Not so long ago, when there less than a million books in publication and the Big Five publishers controlled everything, when people actually read books instead of watching little screens and when ebooks had yet to be invented, then selling a million copies might just create a Best Selling Book position. Now, however, things are different. Book sales are declining but supply has never been higher yet oddly, it has never been easier to hit number one.
Even on the New York Times Lists, long considered the ultimate accolade, is now possible to create a best selling book with sales of less than 10,000. That is how thinly sales are spread. However, if your book comes out at the same time as Stephen King’s new blockbuster you’re going to need a few more than that.
The other factor to consider is that out of those 60 million books, the majority of authors make no effort to promote them. In fact, only around ten million are being supported in any way.
Getting a book to the higher reaches of the score tables is more than just a nice idea though, it can make a huge difference in sales. When readers search for books on Amazon they are usually presented with lists of books ranked in sales order. However, not everybody wants to read the latest JK Rowling and if everybody had to start at number one and work their way down the list to find something appealing, most would give up long before reaching even one thousand, let alone ten million.
This is where Amazon has been very clever. They have subdivided their genres to make searching easier for their customers. In fact, they have subdivided the subdivisions as well. Amazon currently lists somewhere in the order of a thousand different subsets of genres. This means there are a thousand separate charts and a thousand different opportunities to create a Best Selling Book. If we take the 10 million active books and divide them equally across all of the sub genres, we now have odds around ten thousand to one. Far better than 60 million but there is still a way to go yet. Amazon’s charts are updated in real time. That means at least once an hour. Unlike the NY Times where the best selling book charts are weekly, these are hourly charts meaning a book has twenty-four chances a day to be the Number One Best Selling Book in its category. 168 chances a week to beat the other ten thousand in your genre. Not bad odds.
Now, with a bit of promotion focused on one narrow time window, that spot can often be hit with sales of less than twenty books, providing they all come within the same hour.
It will be a brief moment of fame but with luck, the visibility achieved by being able to create a Best Selling Book, even for that single hour will create more sales. Add to that some positive marketing and promotion and who knows, you just might stay there.