The 12 Essential Elements of A #1 Bestselling Book
How To Sell More Books, Build A Tribe of Loyal Readers And Grow Your Influence, Impact And Income
Written by Austin Netzley
Founder, Epic Launch
If there’s one thing every author I meet has in common, it’s the desire to say these words.
Whether it’s on Amazon, New York Times, The Wall Street Journal...
The #1 bestseller badge is what all authors want.
Rightly so, because it can literally 10x your opportunities overnight.
And after working with over 100 authors, moving 1,000,000+ books we see time and time again the dramatic changes that come from a successful book launch. Results like:
Earning over $200,000 in royalties from just one book.
Earning over 6-figures in backend sales from new readers.
Doubling consulting, coaching and speaking fees with zero pushback.
Adding thousands of new email subscribers to your list in just a few days.
Becoming a sought-after expert in your field without spending years networking.
Being featured on Forbes, Entrepreneur Magazine, Huffington Post and many others.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
However, it’s no small-feat to achieve.
Sorry, let me clarify that...
It’s no small-feat to achieve #1 bestseller status… and stay there.
I’m not talking about a 24-hour stint on some obscure category on Amazon.
This is about long-term, sustained success for your book, brand and business.
Now, the chances are, if you’re reading this, you fall into one of two buckets...
1. You’re getting ready to publish, market and sell your book… and you want to make sure you don’t screw it up.
2. You’ve already launched your book and you didn’t see the results you wanted… and you’re wondering how you can fix it.
Well, in this guide I’m going to show you…
How to Turn Your Book Into a #1 Bestseller…
However, before we go any further, there’s a major myth I want to dispel.
"If I Write It... They Will Buy It!"
No matter how valuable, engaging, groundbreaking or well-written your book is, if you think it’s just a matter of publishing it, then watching the royalties roll in, you’re going to be in for a helluva disappointment.
Simply put, if you don’t know how to launch, market and sell your book, nobody will ever read it.
As Robert Kiyosaki, author of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” says…
(This was the quote that changed everything for me... I hope it does the same for you too)
The truth is: success as an author comes down to learning how to market your book.
Which is what we’ve spent the last 15 months mastering, and today, it’s what we want to share with you.
So, let’s get started.
The 12 Essential Elements You Need to Become A #1 Bestselling Author
Whenever we work with an author, there’s several elements we focus on.
In this guide I reveal each element, explain why it’s important and teach you how to apply each of these pieces to your own book launch.
My goal is this article becomes your go-to resource.
To help make it as easy-to-navigate as possible, I’ve broken it down into sections.
You can click the titles and links to quick jump around the article.
Your #1 BESTSELLER Launch Team
The Truth About Book Reviews
Your Bestseller Launch Strategy
Marketing & Selling Your Book
Your book is the most important piece.
It’s the first domino that knocks everything else over and builds unstoppable momentum.
For long-term, sustainable success you need a quality book which is optimized for sales.
From the cover design to the interior; to the title and the description, each element will come together to help you achieve that coveted #1 bestseller status.
It all starts with the title.
The Art And Science of a Title That Sells And How to Write Yours...
Your title is designed to do one thing:
Sell your book.
Think of the last book you bought…
You were probably sold on the book just by the title alone, am I right?
Sure, maybe it was the cover design that grabbed your attention, but I’m guessing the title alone had you ready to buy.
That’s the power of a title.
Now, the first shift you must make is to start thinking about your title as a headline.
It must capture your prospect’s attention, intrigue them, stick in their mind, and ultimately drive them to grab your book.
In this section, I want to share the simple strategies behind book titles that sell and show you how to create your own winning title.
The Step-By-Step Process to Craft a Title That Sells Your Book
When crafting your book title, you want to try and achieve the following:
Grab your prospect's attention...
Allude to what the book is about...
State the BIG benefit they’ll get by reading...
Pique their curiosity so they feel the need to find out more...
So, how do you achieve all this?
That’s what I’m about to share. It’s a 5-step process.
STEP #1 - Brainstorm The Benefits Revealed Inside Your Book
Not the features. The benefits.
If you don’t know the difference, here’s a simple example:
Feature: How to write a book title
Benefit: How to sell more books with a powerful, emotionally charged book title
Start by creating a master list of what your book is teaching, what pain it solves for the reader and ultimately what benefit they’ll get from reading your book.
STEP #2 - Pick The Top 5 Benefits And Expand Them
Go through your list and pick the top 5 benefits.
Get rid of the others, you’re now going to start expanding them.
What I mean by this is you’re going to begin turning those benefits into statements and phrases. Don’t attempt to write the perfect title. For now you just want to get the ideas flowing.
I suggest you brainstorm at least 30 statements. Don’t overthink or analyse your ideas. Just write. Pen to paper. Do it. You will come up with a lot of awful ideas.
In fact, most of them will suck. That’s just part of the process.
To help make this easier for you, simply plug your benefits into proven headline formulas.
If you want a full list of proven title formulas to use, click here now.
(I’ll also give you our power-words list so you can really drive up the emotional impact).
Once we have a master list, we’ll start combining these disconnected ideas into a winning title that will drive readers to buy your book in droves.
Now, after you’ve been through this process, read the list and highlight any you like.
Delete the bad. Keep the good.
We’ll start to improve the good ones to make them great.
STEP #3 - Combine And Improve
By now, you should have a list of statements, phrases and bullet-points that you feel do a good job of capturing the central selling point of your book.
Next up, you want to start combining your brainstormed list into title ideas.
Ideally you want it to be short, sweet, emotionally powerful and to state the #1 big benefit the reader will get.
If you can get some curiosity in their too, then all the better.
This might sound a little complicated, but if you’ve been through the steps above you should find it easy.
Here’s some great titles to help get your creative juices flowing:
The Ultimate Marketing Plan
Your subtitle should run directly on from your title.
Ideally it should qualify the statement made and expand on it.
Bonus points if you can use: timeframes, numbers, remove doubt from the prospects mind and use ideas that are juxtaposed.
Here’s how it might look:
The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich
The Ultimate Marketing Plan: Target Your Audience, Get Out Your Message, Build Your Brand!
Dotcom Secrets: The Underground Playbook For Growing Your Company Online...
The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM)
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion
The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results
Here's A Near-Perfect Example...
In my opinion, this is one of the perfect title and cover combinations ever.
As you can see, each of the example titles achieves at least one of the following:
It entices your curiosity
It promises a big, bold benefit
It tells you what to expect
Also, notice how each title acts like an article headline.
This is the ultimate goal you want.
Headlines are designed to sell. So should your title.
STEP #4 - Whittle Down The Title
At this point, you should have several draft titles you’re happy with.
But the chances are, it’s far too long and is a mouthful to say.
Say it out loud, does it flow well? Does it roll off the tongue? It’s probably a little clumsy, right?
Here’s an example of a title we recently created for a client:
The 6-Figure Speaker: The Ultimate, No-Hold Barred, Step-by-Step Blueprint to Build a Business as a Highly-Paid Professional Speaker
As you can see, it’s too long, the flow is bumpy.
So, we start to cut it down. Test different options. Move words around.
And we’re left with:
The 6-Figure Speaker: The Ultimate Blueprint to Build a Business as a Highly Paid Professional Speaker
Much better. It conveys the exact same message and benefits. The exact same sales points are included. But it’s short and succinct.
BONUS #1 - Avoid This Cardinal Sin
Avoid the mistake of thinking your book title has to be clever, witty, intelligent or just a couple of words.
It will just confuse the prospect. A confused prospect never becomes a buyer.
Instead, focus on creating a title that does one job: sells your book.
You do this by avoiding puns, obscure references, jokes and instead state the benefits with total clarity.
In the land of book titles: simplicity is king.
BONUS #2 - Testing Your Title
If you want to guarantee your title is a winner, you’re going to need to test it.
Unfortunately, testing is beyond the scope of this article.
However, here’s a super-short overview of the process and ways you can test.
1. Survey your audience/email list, ask them to vote.
2. Run 2-4 Facebook Ads (targeting the same audience) with the headline of your ad being different (i.e headline 1 is title option 1, headline 2 is title option 2).
Use a split testing service like www.PickFu.com
to get user voted feedback.
Turning Book Browsers to Buyers With A Description That Converts…
A crucial aspect to a #1 bestselling book is the description.
It’s your sales letter.
It’s what turns a curious book browser into a buyer.
We always view your description as a direct continuation of your book’s title.
Because your description performs one function…
It takes the people who were enticed by your title... But who aren’t yet ready to buy… and it closes the sale.
In this section, I’m going to share with you how to write a description that acts as your 24/7 salesman.
First up: The #1 mistake we see people making with book descriptions...
Not taking advantage of the real estate they have.
This is particularly important on Amazon.
You’re given between 30 - 4,000 characters with which to sell your book.
So, if you’re only using a couple of sentences to sell your book, you’re losing sales. Period.
Which of these is more likely to make you buy?
Obvious answer, right?
Again, this is your sales letter. So make sure it sells.
Write an enticing description that excites the prospect and makes them want to read.
The rules for your description are very similar to that of your title creation.
Now, here’s some additional advice on crafting a description that sells:
1. Hook their attention with a bold statement or promise
2. Address the prospect's pains and problems
3. Agitate their pain by painting a negative picture in their mind
4. Offer them a solution to the pain by telling them what they’ll learn inside your book
5. Prove to them why your book is the solution they need
6. Tell them how to buy your book and why they need it now
After this, you want to ensure your description is keyword loaded.
Keywords are how people will find your book.
So, make sure your description includes the main keywords for your niche and category.
Don't Forget... Looks Matter
Here's a great example of how to layout your description:
However the vast majority of authors skip this, and instead simply enter a few sentences and think the job is done. Big mistake!
You must properly layout your description in order to guide the reader’s eye to key sales points.
Not only that, it also makes it easier to read, grabs their attention and looks professional.
You achieve this with HTML Formatting.
Don’t worry, it’s very simple. You simply add a couple of characters before each section to achieve the HTML function you want.
You can click here
for a list of HTML codes to use.
And, here’s a short video showing you how to properly format your description.
The Final Piece You Must Add To Your Description...
One simple “trick” you can apply to your description to help increase sales is adding a “call to action.”
What is a call to action?
“A call to action is an advertising and marketing concept, a request/direction to 'do something'—often the next step that a consumer could take toward the purchase of a product or service”
Shockingly, I rarely ever see a call to action on an author’s page.
Which is a huge mistake, for a pretty surprising reason…
The functionality of Amazon actually hurts your sales.
(With all these distractions for buyers, it's easy for them to get pulled away from your book)
Customers Also Bought is your worst enemy as a seller. It’s great for buyers though.
It distracts your prospects. Here's how... They’ve just finished reading your description…
They’re about to scroll up and buy your book… But wait, something grabs their eye… “Oh, what’s that about?…” Down the rabbit hole they go.
Before you know it, you’ve lost your customer to another book Amazon suggested to them.
We can’t erase the issue. However, we can mitigate it.
To do that we must create a simple call to action in your description.
As they near the end of your description tell them what you want them to do.
Example: “Scroll up, click the yellow “Add to Cart” button and discover XYZ.”
We’re conditioned to follow instructions, so when you tell somebody what to do, if they’re interested and primed, they tend to do it.
This simple addition to your description can help boost sales.
It won’t make a huge impact, but it’s well worth it.
How to Make Your Cover Stand Out From The Crowd, Grab Attention And Arouse Curiosity…
Perception is worth a lot.
If people perceive your book as low quality, they won’t buy it.
The first point of contact they’ll have with your book is the cover.
So you absolutely must ensure your cover screams professionalism and high-quality.
If not, it’s very likely that few will value your book…. No matter how incredible the content inside is.
If you a want #1 bestselling book that stands the test of time, you need to invest in a quality cover design.
But, how do you create a cover that sells your book?
Well, first things first: there is an art to this, and it's not easy to master.
You see, it can’t just look attractive, it has to be functional as well.
At any point in time, your book will be competing against others.
To grab their attention and draw them into the purchasing process, you need to stand out.
The best way to stand out in the marketplace is to simply be different.
Our eyes, attention and focus are naturally drawn to things that stand out from the crowd.
(See how your eye is automatically drawn to the highlighted cover as it’s so different)
So, the first stage in the process is having your designer research your competitors.
Identify what they’re doing and brainstorm how you can be different.
Some good questions to ask yourself are:
What do my competitors all have in common where I can differentiate myself?
What has worked well in other markets that I can draw inspiration from?
Should I use an image, go text based only or choose a combination?
Which colors and graphics represent my brand and market?
What book covers have caught MY attention previously?
The thing to remember is, there’s no exact right answer.
Well, actually, there is. The numbers...
Again, like we discussed in the section on titles, the best thing you can do is test.
However, that's beyond the scope of this article. We'll cover it for you later.
Why What’s Inside Matters… How To Have The Look and Feel of a New York Times Bestseller…
Following on from cover design and why perception matters…
You want your book to be something the reader values.
You want them to show their friends, display it proudly on their bookshelf, buy a copy for others and enjoy reading your book.
Plus, you want the book to be something you’re personally proud of.
One way to achieve this is to separate yourself from most self-published authors by investing in a quality interior design for your book.
Here’s a great interior design to draw inspiration from:
(Hire a designer and invest in a professional interior... it will put you head and shoulders above the competition)
Although this might not seem essential, it’s one of those elements that plays a big part in the long term success of your book.
With our clients we like to create a book launch team for them.
This is a close-knit group of people who’re willing to support the book in the early stages.
It usually consists of fans, family and friends.
However, with more established authors we like to leverage their existing audience.
If you want to create a truly Epic Book Launch, then we always suggest creating your launch team.
Not only will it make your job easier, but you’ll get the much needed support, validation and encouragement throughout the journey.
Here’s how a launch team can help you:
Leaving honest, verified reviews for your book…
Supporting your book, buying it and sending traffic on a specific day...
Sharing your book with their network, connections and audience…
Giving candid feedback on your book’s design and style…
Supporting you, encouraging you and holding you accountable…
When it comes your turn to build your launch team, we suggest keeping it simple.
Use a Private Facebook Group.
It makes communication easy, it brings everyone into one spot, you can tag people, add photos, share videos and directly post links to URLs.
Here’s a look inside one of our Facebook Groups:
(Share videos, Facebook Live streams, connect and much more)
You don’t have to use a Facebook group, but during the madness of a launch, as you juggle 100 different balls, trying to email each person on your launch team gets overwhelming fast.
Although a launch team is great for a number of reasons, the primary one is reviews.
Which brings us onto the next section…
Book Reviews And Why They Make ALL The Difference
Reviews can be the lifeblood of a book.
Not only do they provide “social proof” for people who don’t know you…
But they’re proven to be one of the most powerful influencers on purchasing behaviour.
Throw in the fact that Amazon’s algorithm has been shown to give more “weight” to books with reviews… (meaning it’s more likely to promote your book to its audience)... and you can see why reviews are critical.
Sadly, this is an area where most authors fall short.
We want to solve that for you. So…
Here’s How to Get Floods of Honest, Real, Verified Book Reviews…
In the short video below you’ll learn:
The 10 simple strategies you can use to set up a consistent flow of positive, “verified buyer” reviews for you book... without needing an existing audience, email list or fan base…
How to deploy powerful “behavioural influence trigger” that has people personally invested in leaving your book a glowing, gushing and honest review…
How to get over 100 reviews in just 7 days...
The Importance of Editorial Reviews
If you were to read all of these, you’d be pretty convinced this book was quality, would live up to its claims and is something you’ve got to read. Right?
That’s the power of an editorial review.
And it’s the reaction you want to have when a prospect comes across your book.
Editorial can be incredible leverage. Here’s a few reasons we love them:
They give you instant credibility as an author, even if nobody has ever heard of you...
They eliminate any shred of doubt the prospect may have about your expertise…
They separate your book from competitors and give you an unfair advantage in your market…
You can leverage the name of the editorial review for marketing purposes…
Once their name is attached to the book, the reviewer is much more likely to promote it to their audience…
You potentially create a great, long-term relationship...
When it comes to getting editorial reviews for your book, there’s a process we like our clients to go through.
You can follow these steps to get editorial reviews for your book.
1. Create a list of 25-50 influencers you’d love to have leave you an editorial review.
2. Analyze this list of names and see who you can easily contact.
- Anyone who you have an existing relationship with should be moved to the top of the list as a “hot” name.
: If you don’t know the person directly, use a tool like Conspire
and see how to get an introduction to them.
3. Write a short, personalized email to the names on this list about being an editorial reviewer.
- Be sure to attach a PDF copy of your book.
4. Follow up. It will often take 2-3 messages to get a reply, especially from bigger names
Here’s an example of a successful email we’ve sent out before to get reviews:
If you want to steal this email, click the image for access. I’ll send it straight to you.
Quick note: the chances are the influencer is never going to read your book.
So, with this in mind, ensure you make leaving a review effortless for them.
We like to give anyone who’s agreed to review the following:
1. Example reviews they can emulate
2. A custom, draft review they can simply tweak for us
3. A short summary of the book (Plus a PDF of the book)
A Simple "Trick" To Get More Editorial Reviews
Get at least ONE review before you start cold contacting.
Because you’ll mention this in your prospecting for reviews.
Nobody likes to be the first on the wagon, it’s easier to jump on the bandwagon.
It removes the fear they will be the only name associated with the book.
It gives them proof your book is quality and you’re trustworthy.
Your Epic Book Launch Strategy
The Simple Strategy We’ve Perfected Running 100+ Book Launches And Moving Over 1,000,000 Books
One BIG thing that separates successful authors from the herd is simple…
They follow a proven strategy.
Minor details change from book to book. And, to an outsider, on the surface the strategy may even seem different… However, 99% of the time, the strategy remains the same.
It can be summed up in one word… Preparation.
Profitable, successful and bestselling authors don’t “publish and pray.”
They get very intentional about exactly how they’re going to achieve the desired results.
We don’t have enough time in this article to go through the full, step-by-step book marketing strategy we use with our authors (there’s close to 600-steps!), so instead…
I want to give you the 5 main phases to go through.
If you want our full Epic Book Launch checklist, you can click the image below to get it.
The 5 Phases of An Epic Book Launch
Create Your Detailed Timeline
Define Your Big Money Maker
Social Media Viral Explosion
Bestseller Chart Strategy
Reviews, Reviews, Reviews
The ONE Page That Turns Books Into Bestsellers…
If there was one page that is responsible for turning books into best sellers.
It would have to be what we’re sharing in this section.
When used correctly, it guarantees you’ll have a horde of people ready, waiting and excited for the day your book launches.
What is this page?
Well, surprisingly it’s not in your book.
It’s a book launch page.
This simple page can influence your launch more than anything else.
It can be set up in about 30-60 minutes
It will capture the names and email addresses of your readers… before they even get the book.
(This page stayed consistently converting between 77-81% across 10,000 visitors)
This means you can market directly to them.
You can communicate with them, build a relationship, give value and ultimately sell to them.
This alone will put you light years ahead of most authors.
You’ll be in complete control of your success as you’re building a list of raving fans who you can sell to again and again.
Best of all, creating your own launch page is easy!
You don't need to hire an expensive designer...
You don't need to build a custom website….
You don’t need a professional copywriter…
You don’t need hosting… technicians or anything…
Instead, just use arguably the most powerful tool online right now... ClickFunnels
ClickFunnels allows you to build pages like the examples I shared quickly, easily and without needing design skills, experience or time.
It is an absolute game changer for anyone who wants to set up pages quickly and easily.
Plus... if you want our proven template
so you can simply use what already works like crazy for authors and get stared in just 30 minutes... click here to download it for free.
The template you’ll get converts at over 80% (meaning out of every 1000 people who visit... 800+ enter their email address).
Marketing And Selling Your Book
You need to sell.
Stop thinking of yourself as an author, start thinking like a marketer.
What I’m about to say annoys a lot of authors.
But it’s true, and you must accept it…
Your book's content is NOT the most important piece.
It’s all about the marketing.
The old adage of “if you build it, they will come”, simply does not apply.
If you don’t market and sell your book, it doesn’t matter how great your content is.
So, from day 1, get thinking about how to market and sell your book.
Some good questions to ask yourself when creating your marketing plan are:
What’s the one big problem my book solves?
Why should anyone read my book over others?
Where do my readers hang out, and where can I can connect with them?
If I could be featured on just one media outlet, what would it be?
What existing audience do I have, or can I tap into?
What experts and influencers do I know in my niche?
The goal with brainstorming answers to these questions is simple…
Get total clarity on HOW and WHERE to sell your book.
You’re in a very crowded marketplace.
Which means you need to be very strategic about how you’re going to stand out and sell.
Unfortunately, the intricate details of building a multi-layered marketing plan for your book is well beyond the scope of this guide. (It would become a full book on it’s own!)
So, instead, here’s some key resources and advice you can use to build your own #1 bestseller marketing plan.
9 Ways You Can Market and Sell Your Book
#2 - PAY PER CLICK ADVERTISING
#3 - AFFILIATE PROMOTIONS
#4 - JOINT VENTURE PROMOTIONS
#6 - GUEST BLOGGING & POSTING
And of course, there are others available.
As I mentioned earlier, don’t get overwhelmed by this.
Instead pick one or two that you can focus on.
If you’re looking for more ideas on how you can market and sell your book, then we’ve got a free gift you’ll love...
Inside this free guide you’ll learn the 17 strategies used by Tony Robbins, Tim Ferriss, Tucker Max, Jack Canfield, Jeff Walker and Brendon Burchard.
Best of all, you’ll be able to pick and choose which strategies you want to apply to your book launch.
These are the strategies used to sell millions of books, generate millions of dollars and catapult these authors to the top of their industries.
How To Get Started With Your Book Launch
The goal of this article was simple:
To show you the essential elements required to turn your book into a #1 bestseller.
What you learned in this article is responsible for some pretty incredible results.
Moving over 1,000,000 books...
Successfully launching over 100+ books...
Generating many hundreds of thousands of dollars in royalties...
Helping our clients earn millions of dollars in backend sales...
Getting featured on Entrepreneur Magazine, Forbes, Huffington Post, Business Insider and many other outlets...
I could go on and on. But the point I want to make is this…
Everything in this article is tested, proven and works.
More importantly, anyone can do it.
You just need to be willing to put in the sweat equity.
When we work with our clients, there is 600 steps we go through. From optimizing the cover and title to generating hundreds and thousands of email subscribers, to running paid traffic. It's a lot of work. But it brings results... big results.
And if you do the same, you will be rewarded. I assure you.
What you learned in this article is a great starting point for you. So get planning.
A successful book launch can literally transform your business overnight.
Take it seriously. Become a marketer. Don’t just publish and pray.
However... if you'd simply prefer to focus on what you're good at and leave the marketing to someone else...
I'm Looking For A Few More Of My Dream Clients To Work With!
So, if you want a wildly successful book launch that guarantees your #1 bestseller status... floods you with readers, raving fans and new clients... and instantly opens up a whole new world of opportunities..
My team and I would LOVE to do it for you.
You can find out more about The Epic Book Launch by clicking the button below.
You'll also see meet some past clients, see some of our results and be able to fill out a short application to see if we're a good fit for one and other.
I look forward to hearing from you and making you a #1 bestselling author.
Founder, Epic Launch