Selling Your Way To The Top: Self-Publishing

My name is Nick Wale and I happen to have created 8 number one bestselling books over the past couple of months. 

The nature of the book world today is simple. Overpopulation. That’s not to say that the overpopulated book world isn’t populated with quality– it is in many cases. I just mean to say that you, as a writer, have a lot of competition, and I don’t know if you have what it takes to be a bestseller.

I was called by a Hollywood writer the other day and he asked me one simple question: “What is a bestseller, Nick?”

Well? What is a bestseller? Is it a book that appears on the New York Times listing? A book that appears on the top of the Amazon listing? A book that sells a thousand copies a day and doesn’t appear on any listing? What is the criteria for a bestseller?

The number one thing you have to remember is this– a bestseller, be it an Amazon bestseller, NYT bestseller or a non-charting bestseller does one thing. It makes money.

Now, many writers are going to tell you that there’s no money in the book world. This is wrong. Ask Cliff Roberts, Tim Northway, or Charlie Flowers. I have number one bestsellers with all three of those boys and none of them are starving. Therefore, this stands as proof that there is plenty of money in the book world.

So, why isn’t your book selling? The answer to that one is as complex as you want to make it. I see a very simple answer. Writers are writers and promoters are promoters. The two are rarely the same. What you see as a written masterpiece is seen by guys like myself as a profit margin. Now, you may balk at that, but it’s the truth. Everything has a price. So, let’s start there– what are you charging for your book?

I will tell you this! The price of your book is VERY important. You need to be able to make a profit without turning half the reading population away. Let me tell you that $2.99 is the best price. Why? Well! You are still cheap enough to realise a profit, and if you are self-published, you will make $2 per sale if you choose the 70% royalty level on Amazon.

So, we have the price sorted. Let’s work on the actual listing of your book, now. Look at what the bestsellers are doing with their books. The majority of them have reviews from the get-go. They have endorsements, a finely-crafted biography… If you want to sell books… You NEED these things.

The record industry uses singles to promote a record. You can use sample giveaways in much the same way. If you can get a buyer hooked on a “single,” you will sell an album. Think of your book as an album. Think of the free giveaway as a single and think of the Amazon charts as a radio play listing. If you can get your free giveaway to the number one position, then you will sell books. The record industry is more successful than the book industry because they take creativity to the masses through creative promotion. The book world seems to just stay in it’s own traditional hell, and nobody sees the trouble it’s in.

In the same way, be creative with your biography. Look for ways to increase interest and promote your strengths and differences. Turn yourself, the writer, into something somebody wants to buy. If you’ve held political office- use it. If you are a businessman- use that. You have experiences that people will buy into in much the same way people buy into recording artists. Image is important and don’t go thinking you can’t have an image. Everyone has an image and everyone creates that image themselves. If you are shy, you are reclusive and that means an interview with you is a rare “event.” If you are outgoing, then you need to play on that! A confident writer can run “charity drives” or “radio interviews.” It’s that simple!

Now, I have to tell you something REALLY important here. SOCIAL MEDIA is not the way to sell mounds and mounds of books. Sure! It’s a BIG FISH but it’s really not THAT effective. What sells books is the ability to promote yourself as someone of interest. Forget social media for the moment and go and work on your Amazon listing itself. When you are happy with your listing– go and release a “single” and promote the FREE product all over Amazon. You will more than likely see a sales increase because of it.

Just drop me an email if you want to know more about this industry. You can catch me at Nick (@)

Nick Wale is the creative mind behind bestselling authors Cliff Roberts, Tim Northway, Charlie Flowers, Lloyd Tackitt and Tom Ufert. Nick currently works freelance for authors and has just signed to work for Hollywood writer R.J. Smith.



  1. Yes, you have just signed me. Selling a book is like selling a car, you have to know the bells and whistles, the key words people listen for. Nick provides these tags.

  2. Good advice.