|Lindsey K. Rietzsch|
The first time I became an Amazon bestselling author was back in 2009. I had just forked out some cash to go on a national book tour. This was before the convenience and popularity of virtual book tours and it was expensive. I hired a PR company to do a media campaign for me which sent me from the East Coast to the West coast in just a few short months. It got my book ranked pretty high on the bestseller list and the benefit of this was it lasted a very long time because of all the media my book was getting.
The cost of travel vs. books sold caused me to break even over the next two years. It wasn't lucrative by any means but it helped me gain a national fan base and establish credibility as an author and expert in the field of relationships and marriage. I was able to use this credibility to open up more doors which led to speaking opportunities.
With my second book Successful Failures I posted it for FREE for five days through Amazon's KDP Select program. For it being such a niche book with no marketing and no budget I felt that over 500 downloads in 5 days was pretty good at the time.
Just last week I did a special for my first book, How to Date Your Spouse and listed it for free for five days and achieved #1 ranking in eBooks under marriage books!(See my Amazon rankings below)
What I Learned
You only get one chance to release a book - so do it right. Promoting your ebook for free will gain you that large fan base you need instantly. That large fan base will your free marketing network. I have nearly 2,000 people reading my book and telling their networks about it. That's priceless. No, I didn't earn a penny on those downloads but I gained a fan base that will follow me for my next book and I now can say my book has been a bestseller which I can use to promote it for years to come. Being able to say you are a bestselling author adds the credibility you need to establish yourself in the industry and open up more doors for opportunity.
The mistake most self published authors make is focusing on royalties rather than fans. When your focus is making a profit right out the door it's much tougher becoming a bestseller - you may steadily sell a bunch of books over the course of a couple years but it won't be enough to put your name or your book in the spotlight. However beginning with a bang and just getting your book out there to as many readers as possible will open up all the right doors for you.
Good luck on your writing adventures!