What do you do when you hit #1?
The short answer is nothing. Think about being #1 Best Seller, then do nothing about it.
Let me unpack this for you…
In late October, my sci-fi book hit #1 Best Seller in two of its categories on Amazon and on Kobo. I think most authors at my stage would run to the hilltops screaming this out to the world. They might even change all their book covers to state “#1 Best Seller” and walk around finding ways to slip it into conversations. I know this because it’s exactly what I wanted to do.
Admittedly, I posted this triumph on social media and told several people about it. But I did this mainly to give a little credence to the people that know me but don’t really believe I’m serious about writing or that Lockheed Elite could possibly be any good. I get it. If someone I knew told me they wrote a book, I’d have a hard time assuming the book was any good too. For some reason, there’s a stigma about writer’s you know. If we don’t have a contract from a big publisher, I think it’s assumed that we didn’t work our tale(wink) off to put out a quality piece of art. No matter what people think, I’m extremely proud of hitting that #1 spot.
But the reasons are not why you might think.
It didn’t hit #1 because the book is so unbelievably fantastic that people just magically and intuitively KNOW they should buy it. It didn’t hit #1 because everyone’s talking about the book either. The book hit #1 because you all left reviews(50% the reason), I got lucky (40% the reason), and the story is good and well written AND well edited(10% the reason).
What? Book quality is only 10% the reason it hit #1. Ever not finish reading a major award winning book? I have. Three times. They were so boring! But I’ve also finished and loved several others. It’s not hard for professional publishers and marketers to get you to buy a crappy book and make it a #1 Best Seller. It happens all the time. Ever read (insert hundreds of books here)?
For me, hitting #1 wasn’t a pride thing about talent. It was because there were so many of you that helped me out and wrote reviews.
So, how did it play out for Lockheed Elite?
The first thing I did, was make sure I had a good, crisp, clean book cover. It’s simple and shiny. The first cover I put out was total garbage and that was my fault, not my designer’s. I told him what to do. Then we fixed it and now I love the cover.
Then I took advantage of the awards the book won and quality editorial reviews it received, AND, most importantly, the reviews YOU all had written about the book. In bold, I placed the award announcement first, then the editorial review snippets followed by the book description on all the retail websites. This gave the book an amazing advantage and is what I mean by “presented well”. Before people read the description, they were informed of the book’s success. Then they(prospective buyers) saw YOUR reviews which helped them feel good about making the purchase.
So we have a good book. We’ve presented it well. AND we have amazing reviews to boot.
Now comes the lucky part.
Now that I had the arsenal backing the book(the things mentioned above) I was able to confidently apply for what is quite possibly the world’s largest book marketing effort! BookBub! Seriously, reader or writer, if you don’t know of this, you need to. Click on that link, follow me, recommend Lockheed Elite, sign up for deals in your favorite genres and you’ll enjoy high quality, cheap books all the time.
I applied for a featured deal probably three times when the book first came out and each time I was denied. Admittedly, the book wasn’t yet presented well enough.
But this time, I was accepted! I couldn’t believe it. Lockheed Elite was to go out on October 23rd in an email to almost 2 Million people.
I was simultaneously overjoyed and scared out of my mind to have that kind of exposure. Needless to say, this promotion was an overwhelming success! My sales covered my costs and even a month later, the book is still continuously selling everyday.
I cannot stress this enough.
Without the reviews you all left, none of this would have been possible.
So, on the night of October 23rd, I found a little new orange banner under the title of Lockheed Elite.
(Yes, I have many pictures of this. You only hit #1 for the first time, once!)
I was beside myself, ready to take on the world, and eager to tell everyone. I wanted to add, “#1 Best Seller” to all my book covers.
But then I thought about it. What does this actually mean? It all boils down to the exposure I got from one great promotion. Which, let’s be honest, wouldn’t have happened without your reviews. And if you think about it. This single success shouldn’t be the thing that let’s me tell the world that I’m a #1 Best Seller. Perhaps instead, this should encourage me. Inspire me. This should humble me.
So I will take this banner, let it pass in time and live inside me as a reminder. I won’t be changing my book covers or writing about it anymore. A close friend of mine just recently told me that my work speaks for itself. I like the sound of that. If you asked me to develop a mantra for myself, I think I’d start there. So every time I sit down to write, I will remember the feeling and honor that you all gave me because it is your reviews that got me here. Sure I wrote the book. But you all backed it. You took a chance on me to read it and took the time to review it. You’re the #1 Best Sellers. Not me.
Not yet anyway…
Thank you so very much for your support. I’ll keep writing quality and adventurous science fiction and my hope is that you’ll continue to support this thing I’ve got going on here.
‘Till next time my friends…