My best advice is to study the bestsellers in your particular genre — not just the book itself, but information on the author’s inspiration, methods, and thoughts regarding the writing process.
For instance, in the self-help category, the perennial bestselling book by Dale Carnegie, How to Win Friends & Influence People, has been around since 1936 with 15 million in book sales worldwide. Time Magazine ranked it among the 100 most influential book in history. Although there are a plethora of similar books, this one has staying power. It’s not a bad idea to make the effort and determine why.
I’ve heard of a “blueprint” formula as well — take a look in case it helps inspire you as you strategize about how best to write your book.
Bestseller How-To’s and Insider Tips
It’s not really how many books you sell overall, but how many you sell quickly right out of the gate. I had to Google the most recent details (none of it is guaranteed and all of it is prone to change), but it appears that reaching bestseller status involves:
Amazon’s Bestseller List
Selling 3,500 to 5,000 copies within the first 24-hours
Wall Street Journal’s Bestseller List
Selling 3,000 copies within the first week
New York Times Bestseller List
Selling 9,000 copies within the first week
So, the goal is the pre-market your book, ramp up the excitement with teasers on social media and your website, and let people know your book is coming. Some authors offer pre-sales off their website and on Amazon to get ahead of the curve. Many authors send press releases to newspaper and magazine editors in hopes of spreading the word.
Of course, if your book is picked up by a top-tier publisher, or even a second- or third-tier publisher, they should announce this on their publishing website and social media pages. However — surprise, surprise — the bulk of the marketing still falls on the shoulders of the author. You MUST doggedly market your book before and after it publishes — after all, no one can buy it if they haven’t heard of it, right?
I have helped authors with their pre-publicity and post-publicity. But my favorite thing is getting the book written and/or edited so that it can be launched into the universe.
Need help with writing or editing your manuscript?
I’m an email away. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.