How to Make Your Book a Best Seller

My business goal for 2010 is…. to begin (note, my qualifier) to write my first (yes, it may not be the last) book (there, I said it). Do you think you have a book in you?

Many have admitted this same desire to me but fear that it may be pure fantasy as the journey appears to be hugely intimidating.  This is why I wanted to share with you invaluable information from Cindy Ratzlaff, Founder of Brand New Brand You.  Cindy was responsible for the marketing and publicity campaigns for more than 100 New York Times Best Selling Books. Specifically, she was responsible for the launch and publication of ‘The South Beach Diet’ which published 11 best-selling books in 36 countries and sold 22 million copies. Here is what she suggests:

1. Keep in mind these questions as they are the basis for a publisher’s ‘Profit & Loss’ forecasting:

  • Is the book well written and is it unique?
  • Is the content already covered in previous books?
  • What do you, the author, bring to the table that is different?
  • How big is your ‘sphere of influence’?/What is your platform strength?
  • Do 100’s of 1000’s of people know your work? (ouch)
  • Are you dynamic enough to sell this book through television, radio and print interviews or your own network?
  • Will you deliver an audience to the publisher?
  • Are you passionate enough? Do you have the personality and drive to ensure a best seller’s launch?

2. Best Seller List Formula= Distribution + Display (online & in stores) + Media + Marketing + Volume of sales within a one week period weighed against total Volume of sales of all (yes, all!) other books that same week.

3. Begin to create ‘Pre-Buzz Buzz’ a year before your book campaign by:

  • Establishing yourself as an ‘expert’ within your field
  • Connecting with ‘Key Influencers’ within your field/a.k.a  your ‘Fire Starters’
  • Platform Building Activities: blog, establish high visibility across social media, talk radio, internet, tv, webinars, tele-seminars, newsletters, in other words: Be noisy!
  • Building your Email List: they will be your social currency/your key evangelists

4. Identify a ‘Top 25 List’ of the places your ideal reader is likely to find you. Then, go to those places and get involved in the dialogue, ask to be a guest blogger, and engage the group’s leader as a strategic partner whom you can seek feedback on your ‘galleys’.

5. Coordinate your book launch for the publishers. Your goal in attaining best seller status is velocity of sales in a short period of time. The less work the publishers have to do the better.

6. Build a incentivizing campaign for your followers when they purchase your book in the first week of launch.

7. Maintain ‘Maximum Strategic Visibility’ across multiple media channels in order to create the impression that you are everywhere all the time.

And you thought writing the book was ‘our’ biggest hurdle? I will write more about self-publishing in the new year but for now, happy platform building!


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