Sunday, January 26, 2014

How to become an Amazon Best Seller......

First of all there was a 'soft launch' of Russian Redemption. It gave myself and Judi a few days to try out the system, make sure everything was as it was supposed to be.

To receive the Amazon Best Seller badge the book had to be in the top 100 of it's registered genre for one hour of one day - ONE hour of ONE day. So that was my focus.

Coming from the UK I had friends and family across that side of the world to involve in this plan, as well as the southern hemisphere so we had to plan the timings well. We decided on a Weekend launch, this gave us the opportunity to be communicating with our prospects without interfering with their work day. So, 9pm NZ time, was 9am UK time, was the 'zero hour'. Judi had dealt with getting Russian Redemption as a free download over the period of time we were covering. It was actually free for two days but it was my job to get as many people there inside that 'golden hour' as was possible.

The week build up had been hectic with activity, FaceBook, Twitter, email and website advertising, all to tell the world about looming the 'Golden Hour'. I used every contact I had, got them to tell others. I updated my website with the links to download kindle reader onto iPads and computers as a lot of people didn't have Kindles.

So, Russian Redemption would be free to download from 9pm NZ time, we'd enter that 'Golden Hour' and I was nervous.

When I do this exercise again I will change one thing - I will have the book available free at least an hour before the start of the 'Golden Hour'. Y'see with all the effort to choreograph the launch I had excluded one very important factor from the planning - Amazon's ability to work within a given time frame.

As part of the T & C's for the 'free' days there is a little warning that says (along the lines of) 'We don't guarantee timings as this will depend upon server availability and synchronisation'. It took forty minutes of that 'Golden Hour' for the 'synchronisation' to kick in! It was a traumatic forty minutes, I had people on the phone, on FaceBook, on email and on my door - why isn't it free? What am I doing wrong? It was not a pleasant forty minutes. I felt like a customer service rep for Kindle!

At the time it seemed like all of the work had been a wasted. When it did become available as a freebie there were twenty minutes remaining to try and get as many downloaded as possible. It was manic beyond comprehension BUT we managed it. It hit the top 100 and sat there. 'Best Seller' badge sorted. Now, you may ask why it was so important, and here's the answer:

1. As a brand new Author you want every ounce of credibility you can grab. People do not take you very seriously anyway so you need to build your 'reputation' and having 'Amazon Best Seller' Author on your list of achievements is a good start.
2. Amazon feed the 'Best Sellers' into their own algorithms and that gives the book that little more exposure. Every little bit helps.
3. It feels good! To be able to say to people, my book is an Amazon Best Seller feels bloody good. All those people that sneered at the very idea of you writing  book, instead of showing the middle finger, just show them the badge!

It took a couple of hours after the 10pm cut off have it confirmed but we did achieve the aim albeit not the number one spot I was hoping for, but by this time I was just happy to get the title.

So there you have it - 'How to become an Amazon Best Selling Author' -

Just a quick update - I don't know how you claim your right to the 'badge', fortunately Judi at ProofreadNZ sorted that, but it took about a week before it was official.

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