Jeff Brown: 20,367on Amazon! Keeps Moving UP!
edited: Tuesday, January 22, 2008
By Jeff Brown
Rated "PG" by the Author.
Posted: Tuesday, January 22, 2008
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As of Jan 22, 2008 at 11:30 a.m.(Pac) Black Body Radiation and the Ultraviolet Catastrophe is ranked #20,367 of all the millions and millions and millions of books on Amazon. Get it NOW before the price goes up! *
In the last month, my book has gone from 50,000 to 38,914 to 20,367! It's moving. The secret? Keep reading.
One of the big secrets to success is tracking. If you're losing weight, looking to progress in business, or get people to read your book you have to be aware of numbers, numbers, numbers. If they ain't movin' you need to get groovin'. How's that done? Check out the rest of the article.
For all you wanna be authors, one suggestion. Stop with the five star ratings. It doesn't sell. But why cut back on the stellar ratings? Let me explain by showing. Do me a favor, go to Amazon.com and look at the ratings of the top two books: Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia and A Thousand Splendid Suns. Now, understand this, the number one book . . . I said the number one book . . . to a lot of people downright sucks. Pardon my un-academic, unprofessional diction here but we need to get down to the nitty gritty, so I'm goin' street. Actually, my 13 and 18 year old told me how to "lay it down." So here we go.
Of the 847 reviews, as of Dec. 29, 2007, almost half rate the number one book less than five stars. 112 hate it (one star), 59 almost hate it (two stars) and 65 are lukewarm on the novel (three stars). So for those of you trying to sell your book, it's alright to get your friends to post a review, but for god's sake man, pick some who are less than ecstatic for a realistic effect. And if you're serious about increasing sales, you're going to have to go beyond mere family and friends. Read on.
Point number two, get some professional reviews. If you just like spending hundreds, thousands of dollars on editors, cover artists, ISBN's and the sort just to see your book up in lights, go ahead. But I suggest that if you're not serious about getting your book read, it's better that you tithe the money or give it to charity. And just putting your book up on Amazon or a writers' community web site is not going to do it. You need to market and promote. But first let's look at an issues that precedes marketing.
The most important thing you need to do before marketing your book is create separation through uniqueness. There are millions and millions of books out there. Now that we have the internet, and more specifically Amazon, anyone can write a book and upload it. Do me a favor (we learn best by doing, yes?), go to authorsden.com (over 50,000 authors and 1,000,000 visitors / month), click on a featured author and then scroll down and select a book title (not all authors write books so find those that do, and a point of note, if you're not writing books, forget getting read; more on this later). At the top right under "buy this book" click Amazon, a new page will open. Scroll down to Product Details and under Amazon.com Sales Rank you'll see a number. In most cases, that number will be over one million, sometimes three or four even five million. Why? Well, they need to work on the unique factor. How's that done?
Number one, and you may not believe this, but many do judge a book by its cover. Many have told me that they bought my book because of the intriguing cover, or that friends and family wanted to read the book just from seeing the cover and reading the blurbs on the back. One reader has five friends who want to borrow it. He told them to buy the book, but since they're college students and they don't have a lot of disposable income they said they'll wait. But that's alright. You should get used to not trying to pinch pennies and dollars from every potential reader. You need to promote, and a key to promotion is giving stuff away. But back to unique.
Another thing you want to do is stay away from sounding like everybody else, or trying to be the next Dan Brown or Robert Ludlum. Hell, I read how to write a novel after writing it. I didn't want to be influenced by standards or the norm. Why? Well, if you do what's normal then you end up in the pile with everybody else, your book being massively overlooked and forgotten without there ever even being a chance of being remembered. How's that? You want to talk unique? Hell, in my novel, I have an annoying narrator who insults the reader, asks advice of characters as to whether or not he should warn the main character about an issue, and even lets the reader jump into the story to move things along. That said, second to uniqueness is selling and marketing. And there's one big reason why most authors never sell more than a few copies. Why? Well . . .
Writers are writers and know little if nothing about marketing.
But here's a couple of examples as to why marketing is important.
Robert Kiyosaki, he of Rich Dad Poor Dad fame (over 26 million books sold), discovered on a flight that he was sitting next to a fellow author. She was quite accomplished at her craft but had nary sold a book. He told her that she needed to market her work. After hearing this, she became irate saying "I'm an author! Not some cheap salesman." I think if I wanted to sell my books I'd listen to what Mr. Kiyosaki had to say. He certainly knows how to promote. Proof's in the pudding.
Another example. Mark Victor Hansen and his partner Jack Canfield have sold over 144 million copies of their books. They have published and marketed over 148 Chicken Soup for the Soul titles. How'd they do this? Well, consider that most of their sales happened before the internet hit big (much easier to sell now), so in order to sell they did one radio interview a day for an entire year. They also took out adds in RTIR (Radio-TV Interview Report) published by Steve Harrison. Now this can be pricey, about $1,500 for the first three months and $322 a month after, but its where Hansen, Canfield, and Kiyosaki went to reach the level of success they're achieved.
Now, you don't have to go this route to begin with, if you're not that committed to marketing your book or don't want to give up food for a few months. However, Mark Victor Hansen is committed and has put a lot of time and money into promoting. Early in his promoting career, at one point he tells us that he was some $400,000 "upside down." But now that he's right-side-up, he puts on 50 to 75 seminars a year that cost upwards of $1400 each attendee, which is pretty reasonable considering some, like Deepak Chopra, charge up to $6000 for a three day seminar. However, I've gone to three seminars and paid from $0 to $40. You can even get the recordings on CDs after the events for $300, getting most of the information at a cut price. There are a good number of important and successful marketers and publishers dispensing important information at these seminars.
But if you don't have the money, there are ways around spending a lot. To get in free or at minimal cost, all you have to do is sign up at megabookmarketing.com for the next seminar and wait. Or if you have the $1395.00 ($1295.00 for the registration, $100 for lunch) go for it, or just sign up and wait for the discounted offers to future seminars appear in your email. This wasn't my initial intention, but because I didn't have the money when I gave my name and email and saw the cost(and don't worry, you won't be obligated to pay anything by just giving your name and email; you have to do that with a credit card in later screens) I kept receiving offers, eventually offers to attend for free. Keep this little technique in mind when looking at any offer on the internet. If you click out, more times than not, you get the same offer at a lower price. Try it. You'll like it. But back to the MVH seminars. I highly advise you attend. Lots of very important information.
However, there are other ways to promote your book, such as Amazon.com email blasts. This is a technique where you create an irresistible offer (along with your book you provide numerous bonuses and giveaways), so much so that people have to buy. Hell, they can't resist! Problem with this though is that people oftentimes buy for the bonuses not to get your book. And if your book is not very good then your reputation becomes very bad---bad, like as in being known as a money grabbing lowlife not some supreme person of letters. But on top of this you'd have to generate a list (create an email list of those who are specifically interested in a product such as yours) and that's beyond the scope of this article.
And don't think that by getting your book published by a big publisher that it's going to do the trick. Nope. You may have that publisher's name on your book but you still have to do the legwork. You still have to market and promote. And don't think you're going to do it through "glamorous" book tours and book signings. The ROI (return on investment) is minimal. You may get fifteen people on a good night but there are bigger and better ways of promoting.
Well, I hope that helped. Keep your eyes pealed for future articles. I will reveal more tricks of the trade. So stay tuned. (Check out those marketing skills in action! Sell! Sell! Sell!)
* Like I said, there are millions and millions of books on Amazon and more being bought and new ones being uploaded all the time. With that in mind, you can understand that rankings are very volatile. Over recent weeks my book has gone anywhere from its current ranking 20,367 to about 110,000. It's even dipped down to 350,000 for a while. But has generally been above 100,000 but closer to 50,000. Thanks to all those who are buying it. Hope to see you on Oprah soon! ;=)