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Monday, April 14, 2008

Notes from ErmaLand

Sorry to keep you in suspense on the details revealed in John Kremer's session on how to make your book a bestseller. I'll start the Amazon part of it. Kremer is the author of 1,001 Ways to Market Your Book.

If a lot of people order a book on Amazon during a short amount of time, the book can spike to the top of the list. Or at least to the top of its category. Take a screen shot of the Amazon page showing your book as the number 1 seller, because forever after you'll be able to tell people/publishers/editors that you have written a bestseller. Publishers tend to like authors who have had bestsellers, although at this point, it might not get you a better advance because publishers understand how the process works. If a book stays at the top of its category, that's even better, but that's likely to take more than a day to achieve.

You can pay someone to orchestrate your book becoming the top seller on Amazon. It'll cost you, like, $1,500. But Kremer says you should do it yourself for one big reason: 90 percent of the campaign is about developing relationships, and those relationships are invaluable for long-term marketing of a book.

To get a bunch of people to buy a book between certain hours on a certain day, Kremer says, you have to send e-mails to half a million people. You find people working online who already have big lists--the people who run popular Websites, blogs, and e-zines. You say to someone with a big list: Let me e-mail your list about my book and give me some kind of downloadable content that I can give to people who order my book. You point out that the same e-mail listing goes out to all the partners--20 or 30 people with big lists--and every partner's name and bonus product will get in front of hundreds of thousands of eyeballs. Plus, you offer the partner valuable content that the partner's subscribers can download for free. The ever-famous win-win scenario.

The bonus content could be an excerpt, an e-book, a list of do's and don'ts, or anything that can be downloaded on the spot. You don't want the bonus to cost you time or money.


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