Wednesday, April 8, 2015

What Does It Take To Succeed On Amazon?

No....I'm asking. Seriously. I don't have the answer.

Is it random? Is it an act of the planets aligning, the wind blowing in the right direction while hitting the key strokes in the right order?

Every Indie Author out there (whether it be self-published or small press) knows what I'm talking about. It's the elusive Amazon recipe for success that seems to elude 99.5% of us. What about the other .05%?

I know a couple of writers that are in the small percent group. They're deserving authors that worked their butts off, and have high quality material. They've done what many of us have done:

Professional cover
Professional editing
Social media marketing
Good writing

I also know some Indie Authors who haven't quite made it to the 'top', but make more monthly off their book sales than the average full-time job.

Some of them don't know why. No...really. They don't know what happened. What catapulted their work, (quite suddenly) into the upper ranks of the Amazon paid list.

Because that's what it takes; getting onto the all-coveted top 100 paid MAIN genres.  I say main, because my kids books have broken into the top 100 (top 30) paid a couple of times, simply because it only takes 2 or 3 sales in a 24 hr period to make it in the sub genre of Children's books > mystery and detective > detective

But good luck staying there. Now, if one were to break into the top ten of those sub genres, or maybe the top 50 of the main children's book genre, I might be golden. Because it seems like once your book makes it up there, if it's appealing enough (meaning, the cover is good and you have enough positive reviews), the Amazon machine takes over.

Here is what I think, after obsessing (really. I obsess.) over this stuff:

MUST haves:

*Professional, compelling cover
*Decent writing. (I don't say exceptional, because I have read some questionable stuff that are best sellers....mainstream stuff, too)
*Good editing

THESE factors are what I think give indie authors a better chance of breaking out:

*Small genres (meaning, there isn't as much competition. Have a fiction, scifi or fantasy? Good luck. (210,710 currently listed in ebooks) Have one in Comedy though, and it drops to about 53,000. Then, the sub-genres kick in, where again, the differences are HUGE.
*Marketing aimed at a specific audience
*Getting good reviews/interviews on popular blogs where word-of-mouth is HUGE
*Making personal appearances at conferences/workshops
*Make sure that your books are listed in the correct genre and sub-genre on Amazon!!!
*Make a video trailer
*Publish often and don't give up
*Write some short stories, or fan fic, or articles that are on free platforms, as samples of your work.
*The planets aligning, so that Amazon features you on a list or mailing. I have no idea how this happens.

(these last few tips I just started doing myself)

Share YOUR experiences with me/us! What do YOU think makes a difference?

(Image Credit to )

1 comment:

  1. great top ten!
    check mine out :)