Author’s Journey: Reaching No. 1 on Amazon

It was with great surprise on Friday morning to discover that one of my books reached No.1 on the Amazon.com Kindle Store. It was my well-being guide for eczema sufferers “How to heal eczema naturally: a quick self-help guide to learn the secrets of healthy skin” that reached the covetous No.1 spot.

Curiously this title has no reviews, and I had not done any specific recent promotional/marketing attempts with this title. Instead this past week I redesigned my official site www.CatherineVaughan.com and set up a Giveaway on Twitter of my Paranormal romance short story: “Another Realm.” There was honestly no shout outs by health/well-being bloggers, no giveaways on this title, it wasn’t mentioned in any news outlets. It just happened.

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Success seems to be a curious concoction. I had in previous months blogged about this eczema title on my lifestyle blog CatherineVaughansWorld.com plus changed the book cover whereby no noticeable sales increases arose. Although this book literally overnight reached number 1 essentially I had spent 11 months promoting it piecemeal via facebook ads, blog posts, a YouTube video and so forth. During and after the implementation of these marketing attempts few changes appeared. Sometimes life is not logical and success cannot always be executed in a methodical manner. There were times when I was frustrated that my thoughtful and focused marketing attempts did not pay off, then in the one week where I focused so intently on increasing awareness of my fiction books: BOOM! My well-being guide reaches No.1. It is a most welcome if not peculiarly timed result.

Another classic and significant example of how ambiguous author success can be is in Paulo Coelho’s life. He had published The Alchemist and it did not take off for a long time. Then Madonna speaks about his book Oprah’s talk show of all places. Nothing happens. Therein are two huge PR opportunities 1) Madonna telling the world she loves it and 2) Having the book mentioned on one of the greatest talk shows of all time! Many more celebrities from Julia Roberts, Will Smith and former President Clinton are seen holding or have mentioned his book. Again, nothing happens. Finally it became as Oprah says a “phenomenon” and reaches The New York Times list with “no explanation.” The only token of advice we can get as confirmed by Coelho is how impactful “word of mouth” is and the subtext of patience.

So although I do not have a series of steps to advise ultimately there are key pointers to consider:

  • Remain dedicated with your marketing strategy regardless of results and be as focused and consistent as you can with your efforts.
  • The effort is the reward.
  • Success rarely happens overnight.
  • Even the phenomenal book The Alchemist was on a long journey before success struck!
  • The truth is it takes time, so be patient.
  • Don’t even allow titles/awards/positions to enter your mind in any part of the creation process. I didn’t ever think any of my books would reach No.1 I just focused on writing the books I wanted and at times needed to read. I just continued publishing books to fulfill the needs of others and either help or inspire them in some way.

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