How to Reach #1 Bestseller Status on Amazon

Gain teh #1 bestseller spot on Amazon

Today Kathleen Gage (@KathleenGage), an internationally recognized Internet marketing advisor, offers advice about how to help your book reach Amazon #1 bestseller status in a category or even in more than one category by optimizing your Author Central page.

Many authors believe the most important thing they can do to hit #1 in various categories on Amazon is write a really good book. Granted, writing the book is the first step, but beyond that, your job is to set the stage for success.

Part of your marketing strategy must include correct set up on Amazon. There are dozens upon dozens of ways to market a book, including media releases, selling at speaking engagements, developing a website specific to the book, giving it as a gift to your accountant, doctor, friends, neighbors, and family members in hopes that they love it so much they will buy copies for their friends, family members and clients.

amazonBut one of the most important aspects of selling books is making the book available on Amazon and optimizing the information on the site in a way that entices potential readers. Most authors, regardless of how many books they’ve written and published, know Amazon is a must do. Granted, not every author agrees with this, but the majority do.

To get the most out of Amazon and break through the millions of books listed on this mammoth online seller, there are three areas you need to optimize:

  • Author Central feature
  • Book description
  • Categories
Author Central

To get the most from what Amazon has to offer you, the author, use the Author Central feature. In essence, this is your own unique author page that contains information about you. To use the Author Central feature, you must have one or more of your books for sale on Amazon.

amazon central

On this page, you need:

  • A beefy biography
  • A head shot
  • Editorial reviews
  • Your blog’s RSS Feed
  • Special announcements, such as upcoming speaking engagements

Author Central provides a way for readers to sign up for email notifications from Amazon when you release new books as well.

Setting your information up on Amazon Central is relatively easy. Do a quick Google search on “Author Central feature” for details on how this is done.

Book description

One of the most important aspects of selling on Amazon is the book description. Yet, many authors put little effort into writing a compelling description. As an author, you need to take full responsibility for making sure the description is such that people can’t help but want to read your book.

book coverThe description gives readers a great idea of what the book is about and what’s in it for them—the benefit or value that targets the reason why they should read this book. The description on Amazon is like the copy on the back of your book; it tells readers about your book.

Many authors leave it up to their publishers to write the description. Although some publishers put a lot of thought and care into doing this, not all do. Don’t leave the description to chance. If you don’t like what you read, or you don’t feel it’s compelling enough, take control of assuring the description is well written.

The description should be beefy and keyword rich. Don’t skimp on the wording. The description is actually your sales conversation. This content can be between 30 and 4,000 characters in length. Use as much of this as possible. The book description usually appears within 72 hours of putting the title on Amazon.

You can use the Amazon book description on the book’s website (or the book’s sales page on your existing site) as well as in other places where you sell the book.


The goal for most authors is to have their book become #1 in the chosen categories. That means it becomes not only a bestseller but the top bestseller in a category. In most cases, you are allowed two categories for your book. The more unique the categories, and yet, specific to the genre and topic of the book, the better. Crowded categories make it harder it  to get to #1. (But do pick relevant categories despite the number of titles in that category.)

For example, as of the date of writing this article, Health, Fitness & Dieting is a very broad category that has 156,130 results on a quick search. To rank #1 in this category is going to be extremely difficult.

health fitness book lots

If you narrow the category down to Health, Fitness & Dieting: Diets & Weight Loss: Detoxes & Cleanses, there are only 898 books listed (at the time of writing this post). This category gives your book a much greater chance of reaching the #1 bestseller spot. You have a much better chance of getting to #1 quickly due to how few books are sold in this “drilled-down” category.

health fitness book few

Again, the goal is to have the greatest chance of getting to #1 in a category (or categories). To achieve this goal, be sure to narrow the categories down as much as possible and make sure you tie the category closely to the topic of the book.

Below is a screen shot of the categories for my most recent book, Power Up Your Sales.


Because I am very clear on how important choosing categories is, the book maintained #1 position in both categories for over two months from the date it went live on Amazon.

As of the date of this post, you can still get the Kindle version FREE. Click here.


Writing a book is one aspect of the author’s journey to success. When you put as much time into the marketing and positioning as you did the writing, you open up the greatest chance for your book to end up in the hands of as many readers as possible. After all, isn’t knowing lots of people are reading our books what we ultimately want?

About the Author

Kathleen Gage headshotx175Kathleen Gage is an internationally recognized Internet marketing advisor who works with socially conscious entrepreneurs, speakers, authors, and consultants who are ready to turn their knowledge into money-making products and services.

Although Kathleen Gage is best known for her no nonsense approach to life and business, when she’s not working with clients, creating information products, writing books or speaking on the platform, Kathleen can be found training for a marathon, walking her dogs, working in her many flower gardens, feeding her horses, or playing a fierce game of cards.

Kathleen is the author of Power Up for Profits: The Smart Woman’s Guide to Online Marketing.  Visit her website at


  1. Stephanie Hynds says:

    Thanks to you both for this informative article! And many thanks to Kathleen for the free Kindle download — can’t wait to read the book!

  2. kassie ritman says:

    Thanks! Off to tinker with my author page NOW!

  3. A true pleasure and honor to write for your community.

    • You provide awesome content and I’m honored to feature it on my blog, Kathleen. You’ve gotten a few comments already on this post! Thanks so much!

  4. What’s the best way to land an agent if I haven’t published a book already?

    • Dave,

      The best way to land an agent is to develop a marketable idea and an author platform. Then approach an agent with a query letter, but you must have your book proposal ready. If you write fiction, you need the whole manuscript done. For nonfiction, you need 25-30 pages pages of sample chapter to include in the proposal. Seek out agents at conference, from recommendations, or from the numerous books that list them.

Speak Your Mind