Outsell James Patterson

5 ways to ensure your book is a screaming success

This entry is part 10 of 12 in the series How to Win at Authoring

So, you’ve dodged jail for harassing literary agents long enough to get your book self-published online – congratulations.

Since then, you’ve no doubt been sitting back, waiting for the money to roll in and, if so, thank Christ I’ve come back with my next guide because getting your book up online is only half the battle.

Now you’re up there; you need to know –

Five ways to ensure your book is a screaming success.

1. Use Reviews

On sites like Amazon, reviews dictate everything. Plenty of good reviews will shove you right up the search rankings, while crap reviews will ensure no one buys your book ever.

So what are you to do?

You could wait for people to find your book and review it, but there are two problems with this.

First, no one is going to find your book, because it doesn’t have any reviews.

Second, when you do get reviews they won’t be excellent, will they? Let’s face it – your mother stopped talking to you for a month after reading your latest piece of crap so what is everyone else going to do?

Luckily, we have been shown a way forward when it comes to reviews without ever resorting to drastic measures such as, say, asking people to read your book and leave a nice review. A way forward shown to us during recent elections, by those worthy champions – the Russians.

No, I don’t mean doping. I mean setting up a warehouse of internet trolls whose job it is not only to leave gushing reviews for all of your books, but also to smear your competitors.

Such warehouses (staff included) can be picked up for as little as a tenner outside the western world, so the question isn’t “Is this the right thing to do, morally?” – It’s, “when can I start?”

2. Purchase advertising

Fact: Every day 1,343,001 books are launched on Amazon alone. 83% of these are better than yours, and the rest are by James Patterson.

So what do you do?

Advertise of course!

Sources such as Facebook, Twitter and Google offer advertising for literally pennies a click, so start putting money into that right away.

But what to say?

It’s essential you mention as little of the plot of your book as possible for fear of putting people off, so blurbs are out. What does work, however, is recommendations from successful authors and other respected sources.

Here are a couple of examples I often use for my novel “Novel Title”:

“The best thing you’ll read this year.”

Dave Honey, bestselling author of The Thrilling Chase

“Oh my God, can I reread it yet?”

Susan Mathis, author of that book you love, no go on, you remember

“So good I wet myself.”

The Pope

You may have noticed the authors quoted here are made up, while The Pope is fiction. That’s great because it means you don’t have to get permission, you avoid any potential legal squabbles, and no one is going to check.

That’s a triple win.

3. Build a mailing list

While getting a barrel load of sales of on your first book is excellent, it’s important to remember that you’re looking to build a career, not a one-hit wonder anecdote.

How to do this?

The first tactic is to build a mailing list. People on this can hate your books all they want, but that won’t stop you bombarding them six or seven times a day with requests to buy more of your crap or maybe look after your dog if you want to go to the cinema and your girlfriend still isn’t talking to you.

What about unsubscribes? I hear you ask.

These can be an issue, and GDPR states explicitly that if someone unsubscribes from your mailing list, you must “not email them again for at least 48 hours.”

Look, the law is the law, so you better follow that.

And how does one go about building a mailing list?

Sign up to mine, and I’ll tell you!

4. Use sell through

The other tactic, to be used in conjunction with, not instead of, a mailing list, for building a career, is using sell through.

This means writing a series of books and encouraging people to buy the next every time they have finished one.

Now people are beginning to panic.

I know, I know, your books are awful, why would anyone buy the next one? You can’t let them read any of you book before trying to sell them the next one. But what you can do, right before the start of chapter one, is to put the following message:

The XY series continues in book two, reduced for the next hour only to only £23.99 – get yours before it’s too late and you miss out forever and ever.

How can you arrange a page to change based on what deals you have on? You can’t, just put that message in, and leave the price as it is forever.


5. Write a series of blogs about making a success of your writing career


Wait, you are buying my books, right?

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International worst-selling author Mark Ayre has been writing since before he could pick up a pen (somehow). An author of mystery and suspense novels including the James Perry Series of mysteries.

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