Imagine applying for a speaking gig, or submitting a bid for a large contract, and including a copy of your book with an emblem on the cover saying #1 Best Seller. You are much more likely to get the speaking gig or win the award. But how do you get your book to #1? In this month’s SkillBites Show, we hosted Denise Cassino, who has taken more than 400 books to Amazon bestseller status.

Denise explained that a major difference between Amazon’s bestseller program and other bestseller programs, such as the New York Times’ program, is that Amazon is basing its bestseller program on internet sales, while the others are basing theirs on book sales in brick ‘n mortar stores. Most new authors, however, aren’t in book stores, in part because most book stores won’t accept self-published books or books published by someone other than a traditional publisher.

Amazon considers any book that sells enough copies to be within the top 100 top-selling books in a given category to be a bestseller. If a book sells more than any other book in its category over the span of even an hour, it is considered a #1 bestseller. The key is picking the right category. Categories that have many books that are selling well are much more difficult to become bestsellers in than other categories with fewer books selling lots of copies. As long as the category you choose is relevant to your subject matter, Amazon will allow your book to be placed there if you request it. Once you gain bestseller status in that category, you can change to a different category if you’d like.

Denise shared a number of tactics she uses to get books to bestseller status:

  • Conduct a social media campaign (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google Plus, etc.), using images, tweets, and hash tags
  • Optimize your book on Amazon with the right key words, categories and description of your book, and an appealing author page
  • Develop a landing page for people to buy your book
  • Send out an email blast to your mailing list
  • Do a Kindle Select free book campaign and/or a Goodreads free book contest

Denise has a special report available on her website called “Amazon’s Top Secrets for Optimizing Your Book Page”. To obtain a copy of the report, click here and provide your contact information on the sidebar in the right column.