Note: This chapter is adapted from my e-book, Author’s Quick Guide to Making Your Book a Best Seller.
Your connections with people will be the lifeblood of your next best seller. Without connections, no one will promote your book. Building lasting relationships takes time, and it’s the most important part of your journey to the best-seller list as these relationships will become your promotion partners. If you’re still writing your book, start making connections now with people who may help you later when your book comes out.
How I Got another E-Book on the Amazon Best Seller List “Accidentally”
The more people you meet and connect with, the more your marketing confidence level will grow, and the more you’ll help generate a grassroots movement for your message. When I first started writing the Author’s Quick Guide series, I had no intentions of launching a best-seller campaign or even promoting these e-books to best-seller status. Then something magical happened. The one e-book I wrote (Book 8 in this series) that I honestly thought was too niche to get and stay on a best-seller list, because I didn’t think there was a large enough market for it, shot up to #21 the day it went “live” on Amazon. I hadn’t even promoted it yet and it was already near the Top 10 list!
When I saw the e-book’s ranking and realized it had a real shot at hitting the best-seller list, I took a screenshot of the ranking and posted it on my Facebook profile with the following message:
Because of all the amazing connections I’ve made over the past several years, people started sharing the e-book with others—with nothing to gain for themselves. They weren’t making a commission, they weren’t getting leads on their list by donating a free product for a book launch, they were simply helping a friend—me. Later on that day we hit #12, and I started to get excited. That’s when I got a great idea… what if I rewarded my fans for sharing this e-book by giving another one in the series away free if it hit the Top 10?
What I didn’t count on was the many people who shared and supported me simply because of the relationship I’d built with them and the many times I’ve been there to help them in the past. Here’s the actual screen shot of what I posted:
As you see, no one commented what e-book they wanted free. One person said she got it, and that’s it. This touched my heart in an amazing way, as did people like these sharing about my e-book and tagging me:
So when it did hit the Top 10 Best Sellers list in one of its categories the next day, and stayed there for three whole days (meaning it kept steadily selling copies), I demanded that my fans tell me which e-book they wanted free and a whopping two people responded:
The key to your successful best seller is wrapped up in your connections. The longer-lasting connections you make, and the more engaging and helpful you are to them, the more they’ll support you in the future, asking for nothing in return.
Who to Look For
Now you may be thinking, “That’s all great, but I’m a new author, this is a new niche, and I have no connections, so where do I find them?” First of all, you do have connections. It may be just your friends and family, but those are people you already have a relationship with, and hopefully they’re willing to support you. Even if they’re not directly connected to your target audience, any support is good support when you’re first getting started!
Knowing that, here are other people you may want to find and reach out to. I’ve broken them down by genre:
- Non-fiction self-help—The self-help industry is one of the easiest to find connections in. Look for people who you’d consider your colleagues—psychotherapists, counselors, mentors, coaches, motivational speakers, etc.
- Non-fiction business—The small business and entrepreneurship genre is the next easiest place to find connections. Are you a marketing pro? A website designer? Look for social media marketing professionals. Are you a business coach? Partner up with virtual assistants.
- Fiction—Fiction is a bit harder genre to build relationships in, though it’s not impossible. There are a lot of fiction writers who have blogs, and fan-fiction genre websites and podcasts. Reach out to people who write a similar, though not exact, style of fiction as you.
- Children’s—Children’s picture books are the hardest genre because they’re extremely competitive. The key is to teach some sort of lesson in your book—not just write for entertainment. Are you teaching about personal growth? Connect with mommy bloggers who write about how to enrich children’s lives. Are you teaching a lesson about divorce? Connect with counselors and therapists. Think of the parents, not the children. Children rarely buy books for themselves. Parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles do.
Once you begin building a relationship, note that it will take time to create trust. You may immediately have that person in mind as someone who will spread the word about your book during your best-seller campaign—your promotional partner—but they don’t. Until you spend time building a relationship with them, they won’t trust you. Help them first, show them you care about them, and allow the relationship to naturally grow. Then, and only then, reach out to them to support you in return. This is the longest, most rewarding part of the book marketing process, and it will make or break your book’s success.
If possible, take time to build these relationships before you ever get started writing. Your book launch will be much more successful if you do!
Like this article? Read the entire book here: Author’s Quick Guide to Making Your Book a Best Seller
Photo courtesy Shutterstock, 24Novembers