Writing a book is a beautiful process. But that means nothing if it doesn’t sell. You can call yourself an author but if only you have read your work then what’s the point.
Traditionally, books used to be selected, curated and marketed. And only a limited number of books were published. As such, each book had a chance to sell at least 1000 copies over its lifetime.
Regardless, they get the advance payment for their book. Whenever there is a difference of anything which can be measured – there will be people ranking them.
The famous example is the Forbes billionaire list which ranks wealthiest people based on their chosen metrics.
The other side of a ranking list is that the readers enjoy seeing who is on top. And guessing who will come next time. It creates anticipation. Also, for the people on the list, they want to stay there because it’s now a status game from them.
A small percentage of people aren’t happy because they wanted to remain anonymous and now their name is public.
New York Times bestsellers is a similar ranking feature wherein New York Times lists the top-selling best sellers. At least, it started out like that – now they choose their own metric to either remove some books or add some preferred books.
How To Get On New York Times Best Sellers List
If your book sells a particular number of copies – physical books only. Then your book will be featured on the prestigious NYT Best Sellers List.
Of course, you can game this thing. Because whenever there is either status or money involved, people will come to game the system. Now, there is a shortcut. You can pay the money to an agency to buy the bulk of your physical books on the first day.
This will boost their signalling. And if the books author, topic and overall impression fits with the New York Times people then you will be listed on their list.
And boom because of you being chosen, more sales will start rolling in for you. It’s like a game where the rules are decided and modified with vested interests. If you like all this and want to play this game then go for it.
But there is a better way. Your book can be on the list which is better than NYT bestsellers list.
Status Vs Wealth Vs Influencer
If you are looking for status then of course by all means go for the NYT list. It will help you attach that credibility and sell off your courses or public speaking. And of course you can signal to yourself that you are on the list.
Another way is to focus on selling books and creating wealth. Sure, if NYT doesn’t determine that you are worthy, forget them.
Just focus on getting sales for your book by going on podcasts, publishing just ebooks or writing on topics which you want to write. And not something which NYT people will like.
And the best goal you can work on is to influence people through your work. Not targeting everyone. Infact, just focusing on the right people.
For example, if you want to write a book which helps lawyers in a specific country flourish then a small sample size would be interested in your book. And since you are looking to impact their lives, the word of mouth will help you reach other lawyers.
This way, the best you will sell is 1000 books. So it doesn’t make sense to publish paperbacks, the margin is less. So write a blog, build a following of lawyers – maybe 1000. And then publish the book as an ebook.
A few lawyers from your list will buy the book. And if it’s good, they will share. And bring in sales of about 1000. You can earn $5000 to $10000 or more depending on your pricing. And that’s enough.