It’s been an exciting few years since I first founded Fuzzy Flamingo back in 2017, designing and editing books, and helping authors to self-publish them. I’ve just celebrated being involved with my 40th book getting to the number one spot in the Amazon best seller charts. And it was even more joyful that it was my own project: a collection of short stories by a mixture of professional and amateur writers called Connections.

What have I learned by being on the team for 40 best selling books on Amazon? Here are my top three.

1.    There will be people who won’t care that you’ve published a book, let alone become a best-selling author

It can be quite painful, but sometimes those closest to you (husbands, wives, parents, friends) just don’t seem that interested in your writing or your book. Why don’t they care about something so important to you? Well, I have found there to be a number of reasons. Perhaps they don’t realise just how important it is to you. If it’s not something they’ve considered doing themselves, they may not realise just how much effort goes into the writing, the production and putting yourselves out there. Perhaps they don’t see self-publishing as ‘proper’ publishing. There can still be a stigma out there about not going the traditional route, but it certainly does have its place and you don’t become successful with self-publishing without a lot of hard work and a good book. Or perhaps there’s an element of jealousy there.

Whatever the reason, though, it is their issue and not yours. The solution? Surround yourself with people who do care. The beauty of my Fuzzy Fiction short story collections is that the authors get to be part of a private author group where they get coaching during the writing, publication and launch process, but they also get to build relationships with each other. The support I see in my groups absolutely warms my heart. And if you are a solo author? Find your tribe. Network, join social media groups with like-minded people and you will find people who get why this is such a momentous occasion and one to be celebrated. My Facebook group for book lovers is a great place for writers, authors and readers to connect and share a passion for books.

2.    There is no single right way to the top

There are lots of factors involved with becoming a number one best-selling author. My tried and tested route involves:

  1. A professionally produced, beautiful book and ebook (yes we do judge a book by its cover, but also the layout, the formatting, the quality of the writing and the editing too!).
  2. The right keywords and carefully chosen categories (research is key, as the categories need to be the most niche possible whilst still being relevant to your book).
  3. A good launch strategy (teasers, information, fun and a big launch day campaign).
  4. Reviews.
  5. Media coverage.

That works for me and my authors, and you can find out more with my new packages launching soon.

The biggest factor, though, is support. Rope in your biggest cheerleaders to help with your social media campaign (likes, comments, shares and posts help with the reach and engagement of your posts). Send messages to your nearest and dearest explaining what their help will do for you and your book, and what it means to you. Have part of your social media campaign explaining how your followers can support your launch by spreading the word with you. The wider the net cast, the better chances of success. Ask for that help. The worst they can say is no, which isn’t so bad! But what if they say yes? I’ve had amazing support from people I’ve not spoken to in years, and that feels great! Especially as it rekindles friendships. Win win!

3.    Not everyone thinks the best seller badge is important

There are well-documented techniques out there to help you reach the top spot on Amazon, and because of that some people don’t think it’s that special to get to the top of your best seller categories, as sometimes you don’t need many sales to get there. However, if you look at the work that goes into becoming a best-selling author, you may just disagree.

Firstly, there’s the work that goes into writing a book itself. If you have ever written or co-written a book you will be agreeing with me here, it’s not easy. It can also be a pretty daunting feeling to put yourself out there. Follow that up with the production and marketing, there is already a lot of work that has gone into the book. Then there’s the category research. There are a few ways you can do this to find the categories that give you the best shot at the top spot, but they all take time and patience.

Finally, there’s the kudos that comes with becoming a number one best selling author. You can add it to your bio, and it can help elevate your status as an author (or a business owner if it’s related to your business) and get your name out there. But not only that, Amazon works with algorithms much like social media platforms do. So if it sees you doing well, moving quickly through the rankings (shown by their ‘hot new releases’ categories within the categories themselves) and reaching that top spot then they will show your book to more people, and you will reach readers unconnected to you. To me, that in itself makes the hard work worth it.

Amazon Bestseller Badge

Want to know more?

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook to see my new packages being showcased throughout April. The aim is to make the publishing process less intimidating, more transparent and simpler for authors looking to self-publish. And keep your eyes peeled for a special offer coming the first week of May! Get in touch if you’d like to know more.