In this interview, nonfiction client Anna Penenberg reveals how she became a bestselling author with her debut book, Dancing in the Narrows: A Mother-Daughter Odyssey Through Chronic Illness. Anna’s success is the result of her follow-through on all the book marketing services I recommended for her.
Q. Let’s start with your publisher. What did your publisher do to help you make bestseller?
A. She Writes Press did an amazing job with the book marketing services they provided, and met all their milestones on time. The cover design is exceptional and presents an inspiring memoir in their summer catalog. She Writes Press uploaded my Amazon pre-order listing six months ahead of publication date, allowing me to accumulate pre-sales.
Amazon’s Book Marketing Services
Q. Was there anything special about your Amazon listing?
A. Some of my early endorsements were posted in the Editorial Reviews section. Early reader reviews appeared on Goodreads and BookBub months before pub date. I believe these reviews created early excitement and sales for me.
Q. How did you drive readers to your Amazon pre-order listing?
A. My author trailer, social profiles, and website all drove orders to my Amazon pre-order listing. I also sent an email to my list with pre-ordering instructions. Then I sent two more emails closer to pub date, and posted trailer clips and quotes from the book on Instagram and Facebook. All articles, interviews and podcasts that came out before release date included a pre-order announcement.
Q. How did you get 460 Facebook Likes in six months and 712 Instagram followers?
A. I built my following one by one by posting to my blog and from communicating with and following influencers. I worked diligently on all levels to activate my author presence and my book’s presence online.
Q. Tell us about your process creating an author trailer. You had more than one go at that, didn’t you?
A. I considered doing a simple author trailer on my own but opted to hire a videographer. His concept, script and production skills made my trailer far more dynamic. I was involved in several edits to polish it off, and the result was an engaging two-minute marketing tool.
Q. How did you get 65 people to your Zoom launch? That’s a super turnout!
A. I posted my launch invitation on all social media, including a registration link for the Zoom date. Then I blasted the launch invitation to my list and fellow She Writes Press authors. I had created a buzz on social media as well as drawn interest with blog posts on my website.
Q. Where do you think most of your book sales came from? Do you have your first Amazon statement yet?
A. I don’t have my first Amazon statement yet, but I was a bestseller in both formats on release date–paperback and Kindle.
Q. Were there any bulk orders that you know of?
A. I am not aware of any bulk orders, but those who know of my work purchased gift copies for friends and family. I wrote a guest post for the blog of a major nonprofit that hit my target audience, and there was library interest from an interview I did with the host of “Behind The Book” for a consortium of thirty libraries.
Q. How did you celebrate when you learned you beat out Grey’s Anatomy producer Shonda Rhimes as #1 Amazon bestselling parenting book?
A. I was so surprised! To celebrate, I had a special meal with my family cheering me on. It was a very joyous occasion.
Thanks for such an informative post on how to become a bestseller!