How to become a best selling author on Amazon Kindle.

This is a guest post by author Nathaniel Patrick Sanders

Bestselling author, relentless audiophile, and constant daydreamer. Ever since I could remember I've always wanted to build, I constantly moved from project to project, but I could shake the writing. So instead of using wood and steel, I went with pen and paper. This is all I've ever wanted to do to make an honest living. After publishing two fiction books and un-publishing a few others I began to thoroughly learn the nature of self-publishing and the nature of the business. Now I'm writing a book series called HomeMade Author, and the goal of this series is to guide other authors through this process. It's to help them succeed and to warn them of many dangers that present themselves. Every week a new issue will be released with new and relevant information. I believe profoundly in rhythmic writing and apply it just enough so can grasp the idea yourself. Inform yourself, take a leap of faith and jump into one of my books. Whether you're looking for entertainment or education, I can offer you both. Thank you, and happy reading. Nathaniel Patrick Sanders Nathan Sanders has spent thousands of dollars investing in his books, and as a result, he has hit the Amazon Bestseller's list multiple times, across multiple genres, and continues to do so now on a weekly basis. He is completely open to assisting new and seasoned authors in their publication goals and consistently active and engaging with others on Twitter. Contact: Twitter: @natesandersIRL - https://twitter.com/natesandersIRL?lang=en Twitter:https://twitter.com/natesandersIRL?lang=en Instagram:https://www.instagram.com/sandersandfriends/
WHAT IS A BEST-SELLER?
There are A LOT of them. Most people are very confused by the definition. Technically I’m a best-selling author, me. Scary right?
Defined by Amazon – you are placed in a particular list of best-sellers if you get within the top 100 of any of your categories. Does this mean you have to get ranked in the top hundred overall to be placed on this list? Not at all.
HOW SALES RANKING WORKS
It’s an algorithm. But it goes beyond mathematics.
A lot of people like to think they know how to measure it – but it wavers far too much. So here’s my theory – things I’ve picked up being there and falling out.
In the Free Market, I believe that it is based on sales per day for a five day period – the maximum Free Promo days allowed every 90 days by KDP select.
Example.
Johnny sells 15,000 copies of his book in 5 days, sells an average of 3,000 copies a day. However: there is rank bleed. If you just hit 15k on one day as opposed to 3k on all days, your rank will drop because you aren’t consistently getting downloads. Try to space out your promotions for the best results. The only way you’ll remain a top contender in your categories is by holding your title as firmly as you can.
Selling 7,200 Free units of SCREENS on the first day of the launch last week I remained in the top 25 (max height was #16) – even after a pitiful following day of sales.
There is irrefutable evidence that those books selling 3,000 copies+ a day are no doubt in the Top best sellers list.
Before I show you this little list breaking down the average sales you need a day to retain your rank on Amazon, I must remind you:
This is ALWAYS fluctuating.
AMAZON SALES RANK   avg BOOKS SOLD PER DAY
1-5           3000+
5-20         2000-3000
20-50        1000-2000
50-100        500-1000
100-300       250-500
300-1000        125-250
1000-250,000+       1-125
Think of me as that one guy in the horror movies, that nobody in the main cast likes. They’ll send me directly into traps, and somehow I’ll survive till the end. That’s me. I’m that guy. I don’t mind being the guinea pig. because this is the only thing I’ve ever wanted to do to make a living. And now I’m here helping you.
Books ranked 100,000 and up are selling about one book a day. This chart is NOT entirely accurate, but it WILL give you a good frame of reference of what to expect when you begin. Remember this is a just a theory made to give you insight – I’ve come to these conclusions based on my experiences.
To get to the top 1,000 on the entire store, you have to sell about 200 copies in one day AT LEAST. And even if you don’t get ranked in number one of your categories, you can certainly get in the top 10 of them with no issues – as long as you don’t pick an extremely competitive category – example: Young Adult, Mystery.
Pick more exclusive categories, my book SCREENS never left the top 5 in Technological Thrillers, never left the top 5 of Suspense, and I never left the top 10 in Young Adult until the last day of my promotion.
The question you must ask yourself is what category does my book fit in the best?
Think non-fiction – there’s a ton of it. More importantly, there are more specific, and niche categories than there are in fiction – and everyone writes fiction not a lot of people think to write non-fiction. Before I published this book, I looked at a few relevant categories just to see what my potential competition would be.
In the paid store the number one spot in each of the categories was held by books ranking 25000-30000 (selling around 5-10 copies a day – est.)
If you want to be THE best-seller I really can’t give you the most reliable advice. Like I said earlier some lucky author could be giving away 50,000 units during a promotion. And also Publishing houses have a lot more money than most of us, and resources we’ll never have access to. You better believe they use KDP too, and spare no expenses when it comes to grabbing that ranking from you.
Here’s the crazy thing though.
You can actually beat them.
And here’s the even CRAZIER thing.
If you are sitting next to them on a chart – you are absorbing some of their exposure and they pay A LOT for their exposure. The amount of time you hold your title is crucial. Your book will likely sit next to a traditionally published title when you enter the top 100 Free Charts. You need to understand how significant it is to be within the top 100 of Amazon even if only for a short while.
You might not get into number one with these resources I’m about to inform you of, but you’ll certainly get close.
Okay, that pretty much wraps up how many copies you need to become a best-selling author on Amazon. Next, we’ll dive straight into what kind of promotions you’ll need to get there, and which types of promotions to avoid wasting your time and money.
BOOK PROMOTIONS REFERENCE
Bookmark these pages – I’ll believe they’ll be very informative to you. I’m going to go over the five services that are some of the best at producing results for promotions. A lot of this information is available for free, but I’ll give you a better idea of what they deliver.
BOOKBUB
BookBub is the reigning king of resources available to self-publishers, and you already know who they are, so I’ll stop wasting your time. They only accept 10 percent of their submissions so if you’re lucky enough to pass their screening (I recommend having 50 4-5 star reviews or more) you’ll have access to nuclear warheads of publishing power.
$400 (Thriller Genre – 2.8 million email subscribers) saw an average of 40,000 downloads during the free promotion across multiple titles. I’ll rate this a 4 on the pessimism meter though.
10 is the happiest pessimist, and 1 is the most pissed off pessimist. REMEMBER THIS.
40,000 downloads seem too good to be true. I rate it a 4 on the pessimist meter and say that 15,000 is the most you can expect. The reason for the rating is the expense and my speculation into 40,000 downloads – it’s a hard number to grasp, though most authors turn a little profit out of this promo, or so I hear.
BUT STILL
15,000 downloads alone will certainly get you in the 10 top spot. Don’t get your hopes of acceptance up for this one though – 90 percent chance of rejection. But there are other options.
Bottom Line: Try this first, you likely won’t need to run a lot of promotions. But also keep in mind that you will probably get rejected.
FREE BOOK SERVICE
DOWNLOAD GUARANTEE REFUND
I’ve used this service twice now and will use it for every one of my promotions. Why? Well, it’s because they guarantee downloads. 5,000, 10,000, and 15,000. And with added overage.
They are expensive though – the 15k download package is $380 but is well worth the money.
$300 for the 10k package got me at least 13,000 downloads. And that happened in one day. I was thrilled, to say the least. But be aware that these books might not be read by your target audience – being guaranteed – a portion of these people just seem to grab whatever it is free and is possible to lead to bad reviews.
That’s not to say you won’t get good ones either though.
The rank you’ll get out of this one is why you spend the money. I got to #2 on the free store just with that promotion and held it for almost the entire day.
Bottom Line: It’s the most powerful freely available resource for boosting your sales rank I’ve ever found. All of the packages do what they say – and I always see overage– I recommend the $300 package for 10k guaranteed downloads to secure a top 10 spot on the free store for one day.
Pessimist Meter: 8/10 – added 2 points because while downloads drive that sales ranking. The more downloads you get, the less organic and more obligated they feel.
$300 – Rank Boost – Though the 5k download option for $189 is better for the budget conscious person, and still works very well. I used it on my last promotion and saw over 6,000 downloads with it.
Promote with Free Book Service here!
More to come…
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