Before starting to write and self-publish a brand-building book, ask, Which of the leading books in my field are Amazon Top 100 books?
Knowing your book’s competition plays an important role in your writing and publishing success.
When researching competing books on Amazon.com, pay particular attention to books listed as Amazon Top 100 Books.
This is an indication that the books are, or have been, among the leading books in their field, or market niche.
For authors writing and self-publishing books to build their personal brands, being described as an Amazon Top 100 Book is a more important indicator of a book’s relevance–discussed yesterday–than a book’s overall sales rank. Here’s why:
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank. Amazon calculates a book’s Sales Rank by comparing its current sales, updated hourly, to all other books on Amazon. Thus, your book of advice on personal branding or waterproofing your basement, for example, is compared to books like The Bible, diet & sex books, perennial bestsellers like Steven R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and the latest movie-related book or political memoir.
- Amazon Top 100 Books. When a book is listed as an Amazon Top 100 Book, however, it indicates that it has been, at one point or another, one of the top 100 books in its category on Amazon. This is a far more accurate guide to a book’s relevance in its field than its overall sales rank. Instead of comparing apples to oranges, you’re able to compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges.
When a book is currently an Amazon Top 100 Book, you can view the categories and its position within the category. Note that there are multiple categories and subcategories, for example: #8 in Books > Business & Investing > Small Business & Entrepreneurship > New Business Enterprises.
Putting Amazon categories to work for you (and your book)
Here’s a quick overview of the 3 steps involved in putting Amazon’s Top 100 in Books feature to work for you:
- Analyze. Start by analyzing the leading books in your field and noting the categories where current Top 100 books are listed.
- Choose. Identify the appropriate categories for listing your book. If you are self-publishing your book, you can indicate up to 4 categories for your book. Choose categories that are not only appropriate, but where the competition is less intense than other fields.
- Promote. Knowing that, once you have attained Amazon Top 100 status, your book will remain listed as a Top 100 book, commit to creating a book launch promotion that will sell enough copies within a 24-hour timeframe to qualify as a category leader.
Here are some additional resources that will help you plan and promote your book’s success as an Amazon Top 100 Book:
- Villaneuva, Aggie. Amazon Categories: Create Best Sellers. This is the first book devoted entirely to Amazon’s Top 100 Books feature. It provides a detailed, step-by-step guide to making the most of Amazon categories.
- Zimbler-Miller, Phyllis. Top Tips for How to Market Your Book on Amazon and Facebook. In less than 27 pages, Phyllis Zimbler-Miller provides a guide to 2 of the most potent author marketing tools available, covering multiple aspects of both resources.
The success of your book is too important to your brand and your future success to leave to chance.
If you’re considering writing a book to build your personal brand, I encourage you to download my (currently) free workbook, 99 Questions to Ask Before Starting to Write & Self-Publish a Brand-Building Book.
Whether you’re a first-time author, or an experienced author looking for fresh perspectives and tips, 99 Questions will help you clarify your goals, analyze your readers, examine competing books, choose a book title, explore your options, and consider your marketing options as soon as possible.
Download a copy before proceeding further. You can also review earlier posts in this series, attend a free book coaching call, and ask questions about marketing your book on Amzon using my online form.