So, you’re an author and you wrote a book. Are you a New York Times bestseller? If you answer, “Yes,” there are those (many of them authors) who are not impressed. Why? Because those of us in the know are aware of all the ways best-seller lists can be – and are – manipulated by publishers and new authors, and the new authors have either deep pockets or know all the ways to manipulate the lists and are very determined to make the list(s).
Many authors long to be on the best-seller lists, assuming that means that they have “made it,” as an author, yet 99% of the authors on these lists are still working their day jobs, are retired (and have some other retirement earning program in place), or broke.
If your book makes it to one of these lists legitimately, like the New York Times Bestsellers list, you will have earned about $30,000 in royalties from sales that week. After that, you’re limited to the 35-cents to $2.00 (or mostly around 80 cents) royalty that you will earn from each book someone buys following that week. And, if you received an advance from the publisher prior to publishing your book, your $30,000 will be deducted from your advance.
Of course, you get the bragging rights for being on the list, and will increase future book sales by 12 to 15 percent after making it on the list.
There was a time around the turn of the century when I wanted to be a New York Times Bestselling Author, so I paid (an exorbitant amount for me at that time) to get the blueprint from two of the bestselling authors in the world (out of respect for them, I will not divulge their names).
Once I had the blueprint in hand, I no longer wanted to be associated with anyone on those lists, I decided instead to focus on making money myself from the books I was writing and sold them myself. I was already selling them from the stage and have been successfully monetizing the books I was writing in a manner that worked for me. That is more than most other New York Times Bestselling Authors can say.
How to Make the New York Times Bestsellers List
Publishers are the best at manipulating the bestseller lists. They have all the blueprints and the resources to manipulate the lists. You can tell if your book will make the list if the publisher has paid you more than $100,000 upfront for writing your book. Why? Because the publisher needs to make that back. You’re going to have to be on the list(s) for at least three to four weeks for them to get their money back. Then, they decide how much effort they will spend making sure your sales continue or if they put that effort into another author.
That was easy. And accounts for much less than one-tenth of one percent of the authors who believe their work is worthy of making it onto the list(s).
DIY NYT Bestsellers
There’s more. If you have a pocket full of dollars, you can do it yourself (with a little help) and hire a company that has people strategically placed across the USA to go to the reporting bookstores and buy copies for you over and over again throughout the day in a specific week. Voilà, you’re on the list.
Don’t laugh, I know people who have done this. And, no, I’m not going to say who they are, but you would recognize a couple of their names and you’d be shocked.
Making the List Raises the Bar
Motivations can vary, but if you’ve had a previous bestseller and you’ve printed it on the cover, it puts more pressure on subsequent books. For some authors, “New York Times Best Selling Author,” doesn’t rate as highly as a New York Times bestselling book printed on the cover of a book.
Depending on what you had to go through to get on the list, it might keep you from attempting to even write another book. It can be quite intimidating.
There are so many ways to manipulate these lists.
Be an Amazon Bestseller
If you can settle for an Amazon Bestseller, just have all your friends buy copies at the same time and take a screenshot when your book rises to number one in a not very populated category. Ta-daaaah!
Or Create a Revenue-generating Business Based on Your Book
That’s what I do.
It’s Your Choice
Me? I’d rather make money from the work that I do. You can have the labels.