Is bestselling status worth the cost? Part I

By CBramkamp Newbie Guide Comments Off on Is bestselling status worth the cost? Part I

Write a lot of booksThere is Value in art and a price for Fame.

Any author can achieve best selling status, it’s not magic, it’s hard work and often expensive. What do you need to do, and what do you need to purchase reach that NYT Best Sellers list.

I am not yet a best selling author, but one of my clients is. She is self published and officially on the NYT best sellers list. As she said, you only need to hit the list once, and the title is yours forever. Kind of like a Miss America title.

But Sharon’s best selling status was not an accident, she is focused and driven to keep her income from book sales up and keep herself in front of her fans and new readers. The question that loomed in my mind, after watching her and helping her for four months, was, what kind of writer did I want to be? What kind of writing career did I want to have? It’s not a trivial question and it’s one worth asking.

Some of the critical pieces to massive book sales are:

  • Genre
  • Exposure
  • Engagement
  • Investment


First up, if you want to be a best selling author, you may want to consider genre fiction. Genre is the easiest to target, the easiest to promote and comes complete with rabid, focused fans who buy upwards of six books a week.

In these examples we are focused on Romance, the juggernaut of genre fiction. The women who do well in this genre do make the big bucks we all dream about. So to get to the very heart of this talk – if you want to make money selling your books, write romance. Conversely if you cannot bring yourself to love romance writing – but know that you will have a different career. That’s okay, I made that choice myself.


Many of these best selling artists are self- published. Why? Self published authors keep more of the sales price and can control their product, creating whatever they want, whenever they want.

Self publishing can be done fairly cheaply, but I don’t recommend that approach.

Spend about $1,800 or so on a professional final editor

Spend anywhere from $1,000 down to $15 on for a professional book cover, because book covers matter a great deal.

Spend the $150 through Create Space for a professional interior design.

You can still use Smashwords or kindle to create the e-book versions, which you must, must do.

Audio books: Can do this for free (if you own your book rights) or pay from $5,000 upward of $30,000 to create your series of book read by a professional actor or actress.

How many books should you write? A lot

What do these marvelous (and I mean that, these writers are generous, lovely people) writers do to get their books to the best selling lists and keep them there?

They write a lot of books.

The average Romance writer produces five books a year to one per month. This feeds the machine and engages readers with a continual stream of new products.   One book is great, but if you want attention, you need to write that second book, or third or a damn series then package the series and promote that.

And the new trend is to create book collections or anthologies with other best or better selling authors and promote that collection in the hopes of exposing the fan base of author A to the fan base of author B. This is how some of these authors reach the best seller list.

My Client reached her best seller status through an anthology. She packaged a short book and joined up with other, stronger selling authors who helped promote the book and helped boost sales through their name and reputation. Now that she too is a best seller (currently standing at 14 K sales on Amazon) she could be the lead author in an anthology.

Book packages are a big seller right now, and can boost your sales as well as gain some attention for your books in general.

Exhausted yet?

Watch for Part IIWrite a lot of books

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