In this tutorial I will show you the keys to writing bestselling ebooks on Amazon KDP and online stores.

This is part 2 of my guide to marketing ebooks online.

Writing Bestselling Ebooks For Amazon KDP And Online Book Stores

*The first 26 steps are in the previous article. Click the link in the opening of this post.

Writing Beselling Ebooks Part 27: A Shock And Awe Campaign

Say something shockingly new in the opening of your book

Too many books feel like the same old cookie-cutter tripe. Set yourself apart by saying something your readers have never heard before. This will make your voice far more intriguing.

 surprised meme face


Writing Beselling Ebooks 28: Emotions

Create an emotional high point at the beginning of your book.

 Whether you’re writing fiction or non-fiction you want to get your readers hooked the moment they start reading your book. One of the best ways to do that is to create an emotional high. In Divergent, for instance, Tris talks about the decision she’ll have to make, a decision that will change her life and her family forever. In Think And Grow Rich we’re immediately asked whether we want money, fame, or power. There’s no messing around. The authors immediately force us to experience an emotional high. From then on we’re hooked.

Think And Grow Rich doesn’t mess about. It immediately the reader whether they want money, fame, or power.


Writing Beselling Ebooks 29: Instant WOW!

Use the first page to absolutely WOW your readers.

You know how the average person thinks about ebooks? They think they suck. That’s because most ebooks do suck. Most self published ebooks are written by authors who would never have achieved traditional publications.

If you want to sell your book you need to prove you’re different. You need to be one of those authors who are good enough to be traditionally published but who chose to self publish an ebook instead. And you need to prove your mantle very early on.

Your first page is the most important page of your book. Make sure it wows readers. Drop names. Use big words. Create an emotional high. Whatever. Just wow them on page one.

 This is an essential part of writing bestselling ebooks for Amazon KDP.



Writing Beselling Ebooks 30: make a promie 

In the free sample of your ebook, discuss how your readers will feel when they get to the end of the full, paid book.

If people make it to the end of the book your mission will be complete. To make that happen, tell your readers all the amazing things that will happen by the time they close the book.



Writing Beselling Ebooks 31: Set yourself apart 

Immediately make it obvious that this isn’t just “another one of those ebook-things”.

Ebooks have a bad reputation. They’re seen as being cheap. That’s largely because a lot of “authors” who put out “ebooks” are simply awful writers. Honestly, how many times have you seen a hideous spelling mistake on page 1?

You and I might be better writers than that other lot, but our readers don’t know that right away. At the beginning we’re lumped in with the “Pseudo-author-ebook” rout. We have to get away from that immediately. That’s why it’s worth putting a “Holy Sh*t” moment both at the very beginning of the sales page and at the very beginning of the book.

Put one sentence, one fact, one picture, one anything, that is so ridiculously brilliant that it immediately makes the reader think “Wow. This is no ebook. This is a bloody masterpiece!” If you happen to know someone famous then don’t be afraid to drop names. If you happened to have dinner at Steven King’s house last night and you’re selling a horror, then tell people at the very beginning. “The inspiration for this book started when I was dining with my good friend Steven King…” That immediately makes the reader think “Okay. This is for real”.

This is one of the most important steps in writing bestselling ebooks for Amazon KDP.

Writing Beselling Ebooks 32: Niche Conventions

Do NOT confuse your readers about the genre or niche.

Let’s say you’re writing a fantasy story but at the beginning of your fantasy story you have a cop investigating a crime. You’re giving the reader completely the wrong impression. You’re saying “This is a mystery / thriller” when it’s actually a fantasy. Make sure your telling your reader what they need to know and not confusing them.

Write to genre and don’t confuse your readers

 write to genre and dont confuse your readers


Writing Beselling Ebooks 33: Amaze

 Include something in your ebook that will shock or amaze people.

Fifty Shades was all about the sex.

The Life Changing Magic Of Tidying Up (bestelling non-fiction title of 2015) doesn’t beat around the bush but quite literally tells you your entire life will change if you tidy up.

It might sound like bullshit to you yourself when you write a title like “Change Your Life In 10 Easy Steps” but you know what? People like bullshit.

Even when they’re buying a self help book they kinda know that they’re going to get 10% truth 90% hyperbole. History has shown that people like exaggerations and a level of bullshitting. Don’t be afraid to give it to them.


Writing Beselling Ebooks 34: Piss someone off royally

You know what some truly clever movie, TV, game and book promoters do?

Royally piss someone off, that’s what.

Could be a church. Could be a celebrity. Could be anyone so long as they’re well known. Make someone famous complain about your book. The result will be a tidal wave of free publicity (“The book that the church said would lead you all to hell…” Killer marketing, that).

American Psycho was considered extremely offensive and immoral when it was released in 1991. That shock value helped it to become a bestseller.

 american psycho book

Writing Beselling Ebooks 35: Make people fall in love with YOU (or your character) as much as the writing

 If you’re writing fiction you need to make your reader fall in love with your protagonist immediately. If you’re writing non-fiction you need to make your character fall in love with you quickly.

This is one of the most important elements in writing bestselling ebooks for Amazon KDP.

One of the best ways to do this is to show a weakness (“At twenty I was institutionalised due to my severe schizophrenia”). Also talk about your aims and ambitions. Give people a description of who you are. And subtly suggest some of the things that make you awesome. Of the latter, let me just say that you need to avoid sounding egotistical. You need to make yourself sound great without being obvious about it. For instance, “I was fortunate to work with many other amazing people when I was saving people’s lives after the tsunami hit Thailand”


Writing Beselling Ebooks 36: Speak to them like they’re a  real person

One of the real buggers of being an author is that everyone thinks their situation is different. For instance let’s consider a book about anxiety. 40% of people suffer from anxiety, but most people believe that their situation is unique. If you say “98% of people who read this book never experience anxiety again”, most readers will think But it won’t work for me, I’m different.

That’s why you need to appeal to people on an individual level. You need to tell people that you understand that their situation is unique but that you have a solution that will work even for their very individual situation.



Writing Beselling Ebooks 37: Seriously, read it again 

Ad then get your ebook professionally edited.

Even though I’ve been writing for a long time I know for a fact that I miss things. Usually it’s just a little typo. But if that typo goes undetected it makes me look like a total wonka. That’s why I read my books again and again and again (and even then I miss a couple things).

I’m not alone in this. Go grab a bestselling novel that’s been through traditional publishing. Go through it with a fine-tooth comb. I can virtually guarantee you will find at least one minor error with that book.

There will be errors somewhere in your work. The more of them you can correct the better.

Edit. Edit. Edit. Seriously, here are the different edits to do.

editing your ebook

Writing Bestselling Ebooks 38: Don’t be afraid to stretch the truth

 If you’re writing fiction you’re supposed to stretch the truth. If you’re writing non-fiction you’re supposed to stretch the truth.

Honestly, look at any single bestselling non-fiction book. “The Four Hour Workweek.” Yeah, right. “Think And Grow Rich?”  Yeah, right. The Secret (which tells you that if you think positive everything in your life will end up just peachy)? Yeah, right. Non-fiction is fiction, it’s just fiction that sort of loosely aims to be truthful-ish.

This is actually a point I struggle with a lot because I believe in honesty. But the facts are the facts. And the fact of the matter is that bestselling non-fiction books are typically 10% truth 90% fiction.

 fact and fiction

Writing Bestselling Ebooks 39: Include some designer marks (e.g. icons to close out the chapter) because they add a professional feel and show that you care about the book

 Simple. The more professional and beautiful your ebook looks the more people will want it. Add some custom icons to the end of chapters, some custom fonts on the beginning of chapters, etc. Little design elements like this can make a big difference to the way people perceive your ebooks.

Include some symbols, icons, and designer marks that will make your book look more professional.

custom designed font


Writing Bestselling Ebooks 40: Make it look professional inside

 As above, the better it looks the more you’ll sell. If you want a bestselling self published ebook you need to present it every bit as beautifully as a traditional publisher would.  


 And that’s how to write bestselling ebooks for Amazon KDP



Part 3: Selling more books on Amazon

Part 4: Digital marketing for authors

Part 5: Social Media for Authors

Part 6: Building an author platform


Paul Harrison is a marketing copywriter in the Toronto / Hamilton area, ready to deliver all your copywriting and marketing needs. Visit the front page for details.