How I Got My First Book to #1 on Amazon

Jarl Jensen
6 min readFeb 27, 2019

Jarl Jensen | February 4, 2019

I see a lot of self-published authors out there pulling their hair out. Writing a book can be daunting. The marketing of a self-published book is complex. There might be more than one way to do it, but I tried quite a few and only one worked.

You might think that if you write a great book they will come. Well, think again.

The world does not care about your book or your ideas for that matter. At the same time, you better write a great book because if you are going to do the work it takes to get your book to #1 on Amazon, it has to be great. Why? Reviews are a critical part of driving sales. People are brutal about books that waste their time or don’t live up to THEIR expectations.

Write a Great Story and a Better Subtitle

The first thing you need is the great book, obviously. After that, you can distill the title into a key phrase, the subtitle. This is where your idea for why you wrote the book might haunt you.

The subtitle needs to convey the entertaining part of the book. Make the cover after you write the subtitle.

A picture tells a thousand words — but a subtitle and a cover that work together might just get you some sales. The title is not as important and it can add texture to the cover, but the subtitle is what communicates the real value.

Facebook Marketing is a Must

Facebook marketing is the most effective marketing channel on Earth for authors. Despite what you see in the news about privacy, Facebook still has the best marketing tools.

Setting Up a Successful Facebook Ad

The key is using those tools correctly. It starts with a professional high quality image. The image, like your book cover, has to get at the core of the entertaining part of the story. Use very little text and keep it simple. Most likely, the subtitle is all that is needed.

Along with the simple single image, you will need to include a brief blurb to describe the book. Think about what is entertaining about the story. How is it connected to the image and the tagline?

Here’s an example of something I used for my book.

You can’t expect to win when the system is rigged.

One man will level the field.

Justin Wolfe doesn’t want to become president; he wants to save the world. But when his big solution threatens to turn a corrupt system on its head, the system fights back. As his ideas catch fire, he gets swept up into a presidential campaign that threatens more than the status quo. It puts his life on the line.

Click the image below to head to Amazon where you can grab your copy for just $3.99 or *FREE* with Kindle Unlimited!

A critical piece of effectively promoting your book on Amazon is the Headline and News Feed Description. It needs to include a catchy, short, 5-star review and an offer to read for FREE on Kindle Unlimited.

Yes, your book should be available on Kindle Unlimited. It’s an Amazon world and we are just living in it. As a self-published author do yourself a favor and put all your effort into driving sales on Amazon.

It makes life so much easier and the vast majority of your sales are coming from Amazon anyway. So, now that you are committed to Amazon you might as well drive the clicks from the Facebook ads directly to Amazon.

Trial and Error to Find What Works

It’s not enough to just run one ad. You have to run many different ads to figure out what works and who is interested in reading the book.

This process is called finding your target audience. Now, some ads will get a lot of attention, but will not sell books. The way to figure this out is to watch the Amazon purchases carefully while turning ads on and off.

Building a Mailing List vs Sales

Here is an ad that gets lots of attention but it does not get book sales. A provocative image needs a provocative text to go with it, here’s what I used:

‘I write books because everyone agrees that politicians are ruining the world. I write about the solution which has nothing to do with politics.

The system has been rigged by powerful bankers before all of us were born. The corporations needed workers and slavery had been outlawed. The banks came up with a solution; make everyone a slave to money.

Signup and get my free gift and find out how we can turn the banking system on its head.

While this ad doesn’t get sales, it’s still helpful to run because it is useful for building your mailing list….

Measuring Success

Finally, you have made at least a dozen professional-grade and simple ads that drive at the entertaining or valuable part of the book.

You will know you have arrived when the cost-per-click is below $0.33 and it is converting into a few book sales for under $20 per day. This should take about six months. A nice trickle of sales should have developed during this time. I include Kindle Unlimited pages in that total.

The cost-per-click is not about saving money, it’s about quality. When the add is good enough to cause a high percentage of people to click on it then the quality is where you need it to be.

Making the Most of Free Days

Now it’s time to make your move to #1. It’s all about timing.

Amazon allows Kindle Unlimited books to be free for 5 days every six months or so. Using services like Freebooksy, schedule your book to be made available with Freebooksy the same day as the Kindle Unlimited free days. Also, do the same for Robin Reads for one of the other 5 days.

On the Free days, post new ads clearly showing the book is available for FREE.

Another secret to getting the coveted #1 spot is to pick your category carefully and often. Amazon allows you to choose 10 categories to be picked for a book.

If you do everything right as I described above you’ll get to make an image like this:

Learn more about our economy and how it can be changed for the good in my book, Optimizing America (ebook is called EPIPHANY). Get your copy today.

Tags: build the economy, change america, greed in america


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