Self-published novels are lost on Amazon – they sink deep into the hundreds of thousands of choices without a trace.

This statement may be true in many cases, but Can’t Live Without has been a happy – and possibly lucky – exception to the rule. After only being on sale for 2 weeks, CLW appeared at #76 in the bestsellers chart for Women’s Fiction. This is the bestsellers chart for paid-for books, not freebies. And it’s the bestsellers chart for ‘books’, not just the Kindle store.

By the time I’ve finished writing this post it will probably have dropped off the charts again (currently at #92), but the boost this chart position will have given sales is enormous. So, how did I do it, you may ask? And, as always, I’m going to share every step with you.

My Marketing Activities So Far

1. Launch Party. This was totally virtual, here on the blog, and on Twitter and Facebook. There were mini-competitions and prizes, and lots of links to the book. I sold at least 10 copies on launch day. My Amazon ranking overall went up from 40,000 to 6,000!

2. Friends and Family. I composed a (hopefully compelling) email which I sent to all my email contacts, asking people to buy the book, and/or leave a review. I offered it free to anyone who didn’t want to buy it – only one person took me up on this. I sold another 11 this way.

3. Press Release: Local. I sent a press release out to all the local papers and the county website. Shropshire Live featured me on their website. I was chuffed, but I didn’t sell any copies immediately after this. Yesterday, however, I was featured in 2 county newspapers, and I’ve sold at least another 10 off the back of this.

4. Press Release: Setting. Another press release was written for Milton Keynes papers – the place where the book is set. I used to know lots of people in MK, so the resulting feature and photo in the MK News gained me another 10 or so sales. Brill!

5. Twitter. I’m just getting into this, and I’ve had some fantastic advice from author Susan Buchanan, but I’ve been tweeting about my book, and so has my hubby, and I’m sure this has had a huge impact on sales too.

Currently, I’ve sold 62 copies, and I still have lots more marketing activities to come. What have I learned? Amazon’s algorhithm is such that it’s not only the quantity you sell but also the frequency, so staggering your publicity is a very good thing. And categories – choosing the right ones is key for bestseller success – more on this next week.