What Makes A Book A Top Seller?

Published: 17th June 2015
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In this article I'm going to explain how you can make your book a top seller, and here I'm going to share with you some ideas, tips and techniques.

Choosing A Subject

The very first step in publishing a top selling book is choosing a subject with enough sales potential. It must have mass market appeal - something you think will sell at least 10,000 copies. By mass market, I mean that the average person in the street is going to be interested in it.

Let's look at an example: Let's say you have an idea for a book about investing in property - always a popular subject. Your title idea might be How I Got Rich Investing in Property. Sounds OK. But is the average person going to be interested in it? What about a 20 year old woman living in Birmingham? Or a 45 year old bus driver in Glasgow? It's probably going to go right over their heads.

A much better approach is to widen the scope and coverage of the book. So your new title might be How To Make A Killing Property Investing With Little Or No Capital.See the difference? The average person is interested in books that will benefit them personally. And they become much more interested if you can tell them how to do it easily and cheaply.

Ted Nicholas wrote what became a very successful self published book - How to Form Your Own Corporation Without A Lawyer For Under $75. It was largely successful because it was aimed at ordinary people and showed them how to do something easily and cheaply. If he had written his book with a format such as How I Formed 18 Corporations By Myself For Under $75 it simply wouldn't have had the same appeal.

Going back to the property book idea, widen the subject as much as possible. For example, open it up not just to your country but to the entire world by calling it How To Make A Killing Property Investing Worldwide With Little Or No Capital. See how that gives it much wider appeal? Nowadays you need to think global if possible. What Makes A Book Sell ?

A study by a big publishing company showed that it is the subject of a book, not the author's name or even good reviews, that makes it sell. And the subjects with the bestsales potential tend to be money (earning it, investing it and making more of it),sex, health, psychological well-being, hobbies, numerous self help topics and also the growing retirement market.

Although some fiction books seem to have suffered a shrinking market in recent years many editors are advising that the market for good, interesting novels will always exist, especially where the film industry is concerned. Unless you are not interested in large sales, which are necessary to make your book a success, it is probably best to avoid controversial or protest topics - or others with built-in audience limitation.

Watching For TrendsSome books that have been very successful seem to have limited appeal. There are, for example, many top sellers on the subjects of cookery, gardening and other fairly mundane subjects. Now how many really serious gardeners or cooks do you know? Not many, I'd guess.

But interest in these two hobbies has skyrocketed in recent years. Everyone fancies themselves as a Jamie Oliver or Alan Titchmarsh even if they never actually do it. So don't disregard a subject just because you don't know anyone who might be interested in it. Watch the trends. Certain things catch on almost overnight and a good book on the subject is bound to become a success just as quickly.

I am constantly amazed at the number of people who have valuable information in their heads who have never shared it in a book because they thought it was too ordinary. And I believe there is at least one good book in everyone, based on the valuable knowledge gained from life's experiences. People are willing to pay well for information that can help them in their lives which they cannot get easily from a newspaper, on TV or on the Internet.

If you have doubts about your subject's appeal, take a trip to the library or bookshops and ask them what books are currently selling (or being borrowed) most. Getting Ideas For BooksIdeas are everywhere. For fiction, most writers use their powers of observation. They have an uncanny sense of seeing through people - the ability to determine what they are really thinking and feeling. If you are going to write and create people in your writing you must know all kinds of people inside and out.

An author I know can sit on a bus (and frequently takes the bus for this very reason) and observe a simple conversation between two fellow passengers. Then he writes notes and turns it into a story.A great source of ideas for self help or how-to type books is listening to people's complaints and gripes. I came to write the book Live BIG. Think LARGE. Act SENSIBLY by listening to people who said there was a need for good, motivational information. The art of listening is one of your most valuable skills. Listen to everyone and everything. Understand what people are really saying, what they feel and what they think about. Ideas for books surround us every day. If you don't believe me, take the bus! Choosing Your Title.

I can't emphasise enough the importance of your book title. Not only does the title get people interested in your book it sells it to them too.

One of the best ways to sell self published books is through direct mail. It is a great way of promoting your book to the biggest possible audience for the smallest possible outlay. The title is critical, especially to those who cannot examine the book before buying. Yes, a nice cover helps - especially if you are selling in book shops - but a book will never sell if it carries an uninteresting title.

To show you the importance of a book title let's pick a subject at random. How about cats, for example? Here are two title ideas for a book about cats:

1. A Scientific Investigation Of Feline Personality Traits
2. How To Talk To Your Cat

The first one sounds like a textbook. It's not going to sell to the mass market. The second example sounds ridiculous but it is humorous, grabs the reader's interest and tells them exactly what the book is about too.

In short, the second title is fantastic for a self help, self published book. (And in fact it has been used as the title of a very successful book on the subject!) Testing Your TitleSince a title is of such importance in publishing and especially in direct marketing you need to test it. Here is a way to test titles that costs little but provides solid market research for title selection and marketing.

Let's say you've written a book on organic gardening - a 'growing' subject today. One title idea you have is: How To Grow A More Productive, Pesticide-Free Garden.

Another is: Secrets Of Organic Gardening On A Shoestring.To test these titles run ads. for both of them. Place a classified advertisement in one or more gardening magazines. You only need to choose the cheapest magazines available - rather than the big, expensive, glossy ones - as the response will be proportionately the same.

Your classified ad. would read something like this: 'New book being completed by expert gardener - How To Grow A More Productive, Pesticide Free Garden. For free information, call/write .'.

Now it doesn't matter if you don't have the book yet .... or even if you haven't written it. Just tell those who respond that you'll send them out priority information when it is available.

Very quickly you'll get an idea of what interest there is and which, if any, of your titles has the potential to be a best seller! By the way, I thoroughly recommend How To Publish A Book & Sell A Million Copies by Ted Nicholas. It really is the classic book on the subject of self publishing.


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Paul Lowe from TheOnlineMarketingMentor.com shares valuable marketing information for online businesses. Theres also free online training available on how to start your own internet business. http://www.theonlinemarketingmentor.com

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