It’s a great feeling being a bestselling author. I know because I’ve done it six times myself, and because I’ve helped dozens of clients to do it (and yes, it feels just as good to see one of your clients reach bestseller status!)
The problem with being a bestselling author, though–as Robert Kiyosaki once pointed out–is that it has nothing to do with the quality of the writing.
It actually doesn’t have anything to do with the quality of the information in it, either. It’s simply about the marketing strategy behind the launch of the book.
That’s the dirty little secret of the publishing world. The thing no-one wants readers to figure out. Whether a book is an Amazon bestseller, a USA Today bestseller, or even a New York Times bestseller, they got there the same way: by selling a large number of books in a short space of time. And that doesn’t happen by accident. There’s a method and a strategy that can be followed to get a book into the bestseller tables. I know because we’ve done it repeatedly for my own books and for our clients! (Earlier this year, my book Premium became a bestseller for the third time in three years, and my book Just Sign Here has been in the top-5 bestselling books in its category continuously for the last 24 months.)
But there is one thing that can’t be gamed. Something that, in principle, can’t be gamed or influenced by marketing. Something that actually does depend on the quality of the book.
That “something” is book awards. So, earlier this year I suggested to a couple of our experts that they should enter the books we’d helped them create for some awards.
Some of them objected to paying an entry fee (which I thought was incredibly shortsighted), but two–Evan Myshrall and Karen Gordon, a husband and wife team whose book we published and launched to bestseller status back in March 2017–took the challenge and entered their book, How My Husband Keeps Me Happy, in the Readers’ Favorite awards.
Well, to cut to the chase, in September they discovered they’d won an award (HUGE congratulations!) and, from now on, they’ll be “Award-Winning Authors” for the rest of their lives.
That is an enormous attraction for the media and other platforms: if you want to get media interviews, or invited to speak to an audience, “award-winning author” is a real draw. Arguably, more so than “bestselling” author because people get that it’s based on someone else’s judgement rather than just sales.
So, from now on, it’s something that we are going to be aiming for with all our writing clients. If you’re in the process of writing a book (or you’ve published one in the last couple of years) it’s something you should be considering too.
What do award judges look for? Well, the exact criteria varies depending on the contest, but broadly they base their decision on a fairly predictable set of characteristics.
Those are the basics, and if your book doesn’t meet those requirements, you’re not going to get far.
The question you have to ask yourself is,”Do I have the potential to be an award-winning author?”
NOTE: Since the announcement of their award, Karen and Evan have published a second edition with a new publisher. We are delighted, and everyone here at BrightFlame Books wishes them the very best of luck for what is sure to be a very bright future. We’re immensely proud of you, guys!