Yay! My Book Hit the Bestseller List
So, we are to keep each other updated on our progress.
I am happy to report. I launched my new book yesterday (Nov. 15, 2021), and it hit the bestseller list in the same day. This report is for the Kindle Version.
How The Amazon List Works
You can choose a category for your book. Actually, you can choose more than one. The main one I am listed in right now is: "Creativity Self-Help."
Amazon updates its list hourly. When you launch your book, it will rank your book based on the number of sales and on the number and quality of reviews (as well as some other things that maybe I don't know about).
Having a launch week gives you the opportunity to take advantage of the hourly updating. Before launch, you want to to create interest in your book. Contact a lot of family and friends and have them ready to help you on launch day. Actually, you can ask people to apply to be a part of your "launch team." They commit to promote your book, to download a copy on launch day, and to write a review for you.
Since we are in November, I described my launch week as a sort of "Black Friday Sale" a week early.
A few years ago, I got a book to the bestseller status in the "free" category. This time I wanted to do the "paid" category.
During pre-launch, I had the book published using Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), but I didn't tell anyone about it. I had it reasonably priced, and a couple of people bought it. One was from Germany and the other was from England! (I could tell where they were from, but I couldn't tell specifically who they were.) Toward the end of last week, I raised the price to $9.99.
Then on Saturday, so I could show a price reduction, I dropped it to the lowest price Amazon would let me, which was $1.99. I was hoping for $0.99 because I had read about a 99-cent launch strategy.
There might have been an option to do that through a program called KDP select, which I have used before; however, this time I did not want to go that route because I want to be able to sell PDF versions directly from my website.
That way I can build up my mailing list while making those sales. You can't tell who bought your book, specifically, through Amazon. KDP Select requires you to sell your digital books exclusively through them for 90 days.
I had started previously posting about the upcoming sale, which would be starting Monday.
On Saturday afternoon, I went into KDP and dropped the price of the book to $1.99. It can take up to 72 hours for such a change to go into effect. I dropped it on Saturday to be pretty sure it would be available for the sale price on Monday.
Actually, it dropped on Saturday afternoon. No one seemed to notice. They could have bought it for the sale price early.
On Monday, I had my launch team, which consisted of family, a few friends and a few people, who had responded to a bulk email that had been sent to about 100 people. Those people applied to be part of the launch team.
Since Amazon updates hourly, we tried to get a jump start by planning for as many of us who could do so to download the book between 9:00 and 10:00 am. The rest were encouraged to do so anytime throughout the day.
On Sunday Evening, I had some fun with some of my granddaughters and my daughter. They each held up the book and said something like, "Look, my Grandad wrote a book. You should go buy it"! Then I pinned some of those posts to the top of my Facebook business page.
Then I recruited some of my coworkers at the TV station where I go in to work occasionally to do a video for me too. It was a husband and wife team, Ian and Angela.
They read over the back cover. Then we turned the camera on for Facebook Live on my phone, and they did an amazing job promoting the book.
My launch team kept teliing others about the book, mostly through social media.
About 3:00 in the afternoon, we had a break, and I checked on the status of the book. To my delight it was ranked at 158. Since you have to be ranked below 100 to be on the bestseller list, I was hopeful that we might hit it this week.
After work, I checked again at 6:00, and, I was excited to see that it was listed at number 28! We had done it! It was a legitimate bestseller in the paid category.
At 10:00 last night, it jumped to #16. Will we get to #1? I don't know. Since the list updates every hour, it has jumped around between 16 and 28, and it was around 23 most of the time. Still it has remained on the list!
If you are interested in what some of the posts on Facebook looked like, you could go to my Facebook business page.
Today, I went back to work at the TV station, and my friend, Tim Parton, who is well known in Southern Gospel Music circles, agreed to do a video for me. He also did an excellent job of encouraging others to check out the book.
The Next Step
The next thing to solicit help on is to request reviews. How can someone do that when they just got the book on launch day? Two ways: Some of them had received a PDF copy early. The other way is simpler. They can read the info on the back cover, look at the table of contents and read one to three chapters of the book. One of my daughters skimmed through until she found something interesting in chapter 5 that she could comment on. Then she used that for her review. I told some on my launch team that they could just say they "chose to review chapter ...."
Today, I made sure that I posted several times about the book hitting the bestseller list in the "Creativity Self-Help" category.
The launch team continues to share updates, and hopefully some of them are working on more reviews.
If you are interested in seeing what the book looks like, or want to see the "Look Inside" feature, you can search for How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less. Sometimes just going that far will take you there. If not, you can do the fuller search for "How to Write a Book in 28 Days or Less Without Stressing Yourself to Death." Then you can add my name, "Randy Carney" if need to make sure you get to the right place.
Maybe this will help some of you as you do your own book- or course-launches in the future.
I just wanted to share some success and wish you well in your endeavors,