Well, today I have the secrets to the Amazon best-seller list, straight from ABC News.
The article starts off by saying that it’s not necessarily readers who choose the winners. Often times, it’s the discounts and store positioning of the books. It then goes on to say that today authors have to take responsibility for marketing their books - and part of that is tracking sales.
The writer, Marion Maneker, uses one nonfiction author, Andy Kessler, as an example. The author tracks his sales on Amazon after each marketing effort to see if there’s an uptick in sales. He can then see if that particular effort was worthwhile. The author, Andy Kessler, wrote:
I once hit No. 4 and stayed there almost all day. It was a Sunday. An e-mail newsletter had dropped on Friday night with a direct link, and I could almost hear mouses clicking all weekend.According to the article, there are ways to “game” the system.
The simplest way to game the Amazon list is to gather credit card numbers directly at speaking engagements or through an e-mail offer, then turn around and plug the names and addresses into Amazon by hand.The writer of the article says there’s no point in trying to manipulate Amazon’s sales. It’s not like you’ll get a discount at superstores or a bonus. But I don’t think that’s why an author wants to be on a best-seller list.
It's raw data entry, but the applied effort can shoot a title to the top. Amazon is a "long tail" retailer. At the very top-- rankings No. 1 to No. 10-- a book could be selling 3,000 to 10,000 copies a week through the Internet retailer. So all it takes is, say, 500 to 1,000 copies manhandled through the system on a single day to get your book into the top ranks.
I think authors know that being a [Fill in the blank] Best-Selling Author gets you more recognition, more reviews, and more sales.
Tell us why you would want to be a best-selling author on one of the big lists. (Once you've done that, pop over to The Blood-Red Pencil where I start a week-long series on Public Speaking for Writers. Today, the topic is: Organizing Your Talk.)