What Really Matters in Book Success, Beyond Bestseller Lists
“What you can control is getting people who are your readers to become your email subscribers or newsletter subscribers. Or you can use your book as authority to get more speaking gigs, or you can use your book to generate more revenue by running ads, or you can use your book to leverage something outside of the book.” —Azul Terronez
Kevin Kruse is a New York Times bestselling author who was on our podcast Episode 56. Although he celebrates his bestselling status, it’s actually his self-published books that make him more money. This is why I encourage authors to prioritize writing an impactful book and focus on what they can control rather than becoming overly fixated on bestseller lists.
On this week’s episode of “Authors Who Lead,” I talk about the elusive nature of the Bestseller Status and what authors should actually focus on.
Focus on What You Can Control
Instead of obsessing over bestseller lists, concentrate on writing a remarkable book, generating more reviews, building a strong author platform, and creating a robust marketing plan. These factors have a far greater impact on your book’s long-term success.
Consider Alternative Measures of Success
While hitting the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, or USA Today bestseller lists may seem glamorous, they don’t necessarily guarantee increased sales or more reviews. Explore other avenues of recognition, such as getting nominated for awards in your book’s category, booking speaking engagements, or leveraging your book for consulting or coaching opportunities.
Build a Community and Focus on Your Readers
Remember that books are ultimately a conversation with your readers. Engage with them, understand their needs, and use your book to make a genuine impact. Concentrate on growing your email subscriber list, creating a loyal following, and nurturing relationships with your readers. The conversations and connections you foster are more valuable than any list ranking.
In this podcast, I also share:
- The discontinuation of The Wall Street Journal bestsellers list and highlights
- How to use organizations like Circana or BookScan to count book sales
- That ebooks and paperback books may be on different lists
I’m so grateful that you listened to this podcast. I appreciate anybody who leaves a review; it really helps inspire us to keep contributing and giving content here.
What was your biggest takeaway from this episode? What goals do you have for your book? In the comments, share your biggest obstacles.
That’s all for this week. If you have a message inside you that needs to be written, know that you can write and publish the book that’s been on your heart. Don’t delay—get out of your head, put words on the page today, and make a movement with your message!