It is kind of surreal how life is. One day, you are in a cold dorm room up north studying for your next business statistics examination without knowing if you are going to pass the midterm test. Next day, you find yourself living in the capital of Mississippi watching a movie on a Saturday afternoon half sleeping and all of the sudden hear your wife saying, “Do you know that you are still in the top #82 best selling kindle list at Amazon.com under the educator memoirs category?” I couldn’t believe when she shared this tremendous good news. It is shocking how life changes so quickly. I have to say, this has been a surreal weekend to say the least. The day before, my book was ranked in the top 71 best seller education memoir kindle books ahead of one of Michele Obama’s books on Amazon.com.
It is amazing what God can do to your life when you believe. I am coming to the undeniable conclusion that trust in the Lord, above all things, is what we all should be doing regardless of what we think is right or wrong. I could speak and write about a number of reasons why a book might be placed in a best sellers list on amazon. In this article, however, I will share three tricks that helped me to make my work known to the global population at the mighty amazon.com.
- I took my time. The Becoming a Brand: The Rise of Technomoderation took me two and a half years to write. At first, my plan was to write a book about a TEDx I’ve delivered back in 2013. The book ended up becoming, or should I say evolving, into a quite detailed educator memoir including elements of higher education and its process of tenure and promotion leading to the beginning of a public brand. Plans change… Writing a book to have worldwide impact requires much thinking and hard work. God is my witness — I have revised this book 18 times prior to publication. My goal was to make the book perfect and free of any errors. In order to accomplish the former, you have to take your time if your goal is to write a fine publication. There is no other way.
- I chose an audience and stayed focused. I wrote the book for a particular population — folks who read memoirs. I was tempted to write the book for a much wider audience but as I was getting acquainted with the writings of Ries and Trout this past year, it became very clear to me that in my situation, trying to be everything to everyone would be a mistake. They wrote in quite clear in their book positioning, “Unless you are the leader of a category and uses marketing tactics to maintain your position, you should focus on gathering a small piece of the pie in your niche and avoid the temptation to being all things to all people. I now know they were definitely right.
- I said ‘no way’ to a book contract. In the process of putting my book manuscript together and speaking with different publishing companies, I’ve realized that there are too many book publishing organizations out there that simply don’t have the best interest of the writer in mind. Either they want all your work for very little or want to sell your book for a much higher price than what the market sells it for, No wonder why so many books fail. One of the reasons for such high failing rate is due to poor positioning. On July 8th, 2016, I’ve experienced first hand some of this non-sense. A publishing company based in the west coast sent me a book contract proposing that my book be sold for 110.95 cents, after reading my book proposal. WHAT??? I obviously rejected the offer. A week later, the same publishing company offered me a great “deal” — To publish my book for just $89.95. I don’t think so, I thought to myself. I didn’t spend three years of my life writing this manuscript to give it away. Moral of the story. You don’t have to accept non-sense book contract that goes your way. BY the way my book currently sells for $13.95 print and $5.99 for kindle. Not bad, isn’t it?
Be careful with putting too much effort in “publishing” your book if your goal is to be on any best seller list. You should focus all your efforts in producing the very best manuscript you can come up with. How your book will be published comes later. Your job is to have the best piece of writing first. The way to beat Ben Franklin, Michele Obama, Ronald Reagan, and Tony Robbins for a day or two is by taking your time when writing your book, focusing and by being careful with accepting second class book contract offers. Your work deserves the best from you. In fact… you deserve better. Be the very best you can be and et to work. Who knows, Maybe I will be reading your memoir next time!