I just received an email from an author hoping to drive his book to best seller status on Amazon.

This is a common question I get.. Authors learn that sales on one day can boost them to best seller status, the know that best seller on Amazon will add to their credibility and give them one more advantage in all the other promotion and marketing for their book.

Just how many books do I have to sell?

http://www.colinthompson.com/graphics/Prints/bookshelf.jpgThe simple answer comes from Amazon.. Sell one more book than the highest ranked book that didn’t make the list. #1 sells more than #2, which sells more that #3.

On some days, and in some categories, there are thousands of copies of a book sold. Others categories, especially over longer periods of time, result in less books sold, and the best sellers are books that continually promote.

If you book is not selling well, going to Amazon with some sales from one day will not make for a good marketing program. By itself, the rank won’t change your unseccessful book to a success.

You spend months, or years writing and getting to the point where you have a published book. Congratulations on that accomplishment. If that’s what your goal was, you should be proud that you have a published book.. most of the authors and writers I talk to are still stuggling to get to that point.

The real questions should be Why did you write the book? and What do you want to accomplish now that you’ve become an author?

If your goal is to say that you are a best seller.. Our best seller campaigns will get you that. But I suspect that when you think about it.. you really won’t be satisfied with that as your end goal. I suspect that you are like the clients I’ve worked with.. success as an author is not your primary goal life.. You want to get your message out to more people who need it, attract business leads from people you can help, and boost your career as an author.

Most authors never make money from their books.. especailly their first book. Most successful authos make more money, advance their careers and spread their message to wide audience by leveraging the process of becoming a best seller. They follow the advice of mega best seller Mark Victor Hansen of the Chicken Soup series:

“Getting the book published is 10% of the work an author does.. The other 90% is promoting the book and author”

To be a best seller, first look at book marketing and promotion as a means to an end. Getting to your real goal.

Our authors tell us that a best selling book is the best thing they ever did for their business. The payoff comes in many ways, but rarely in the form of a royalty check for books sold. The differnce is.. successful authors have a book marketing strategy

Think about your long term strategy?

Here’s a hint: If it’s “to sell as many books as possible” you may want to think beyond that. Decide what selling a lot of books would allow you to do. If that is anything other than “cash big checks and maybe write more books” you have a good chance of getting it.