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How to Become a Bestselling Author on Amazon

by | Jun 3, 2024

Content Manager

Ara Koetts

Ara Koetts, a leading voice at Voxtury.com, specializes in AI content creation, blending technology with creativity. Her insights into AI's impact on storytelling and ethical considerations make her a pivotal figure for anyone exploring digital innovation. Ara's work is a guiding light in the dynamic world of content creation, inspiring confidence and curiosity in her readers.

How to Become a Bestselling Author on Amazon

Amazon is simply one of the most popular platforms for authors. This is because, unlike many traditional publishing options, Kindle Direct Publishing (or KDP) is a lot more accessible to the general public.

But what does it take to become an Amazon bestselling author? In this article, we’ll take you through the process step-by-step and answer your burning questions.

How Many Books Need To Be Sold To Be a Bestseller on Amazon?

This is the first question that many authors ask when they’re new to the KDP platform. And, while it’s an understandable query, the answer is by no means simple.

For one thing, there is no concrete answer to this question. The sales required to become a bestselling KDP author in one category may be as little as 40 (in one day) in one category and as many as several thousand sales in a day in another category.

Additionally, the metrics aren’t limited to daily sales. If you manage to sell 40 books in an hour, that may get you closer to being a bestseller than a book that got 80 sales in one day. It partially depends on how the algorithm interprets your sales.

But, the succinct version is that if you beat the sales of the number one book in even a niche category (that your book is categorized in), you become a bestseller. It doesn’t matter if your book is #45,555 in the Amazon overall listing; you’re still a bestseller for the category.

How To Become an Amazon Best Seller: Step by Step

We know that there’s so much to consider when you’re trying to learn how to become a best-selling author on Amazon. To help you on your way, we’ve highlighted some of the top things you should do step-by-step.

Write a Quality Book

While this probably ought to be relatively obvious, it bears repetition. If you want to be a best-selling author, on any platform, you need to ensure that you write high-quality content. Whether it’s fictional, a guidebook, or a book in an obscure genre, you need to ensure that it’s well written, goes through a rigorous editing process, and is professionally formatted.

In short, you can’t become a bestselling author on Amazon without professional help and the use of excellent writing and editing tools.

Design a High-Quality Cover

While it may seem cliché, people really do judge books by their covers. So, if you want to reach the Amazon bestseller list, you need to design an eye-catching and appropriate cover.

An example book cover that may work well in the poetry niche

While some authors in certain genres have great success creating their own covers, it’s usually better to hire a graphic or cover designer to help you.

It’s also important to look at other high-performing books in the category and see what their covers look like. While it might be tempting to do something completely different that stands out, there’s a reason why people are buying the bestsellers in the category.

For example, most of the bestselling poetry anthologies at present feature simple line drawings. While going for a photo-rich cover may make your book stand out, it probably won’t appeal to the audiences that are buying the bestsellers. At the same time, putting line drawings on the cover of a biography will make it look out of place.

Choose the Right Amazon Book Categories

If you ask many successful authors how to become a best selling author on Amazon, they’ll tell you that research is key. You can have the best piece of literature ever created, or the best guide that the universe has ever known, but without the right categorization it means less than nothing.

This is one of the most essential steps in becoming a bestseller on Amazon. You can’t simply choose one or two categories and hope for the best. Let’s take a look at a top-ranking strategy for this:

Choose the Most Appropriate Categories

When preparing to choose your book categories, bear in mind that these can change significantly in a matter of weeks or even days. For this reason, it’s best to choose your categories at the time of launch or as close to it as possible rather than in advance.

When you upload your book, Amazon will give you some default categories based on the categories you’ve entered in the Kindle Direct Publishing Center. These are a good starting point.

Category Top Tip: Choose your categories so they’re as specific as possible. More categories equal a greater chance of becoming a bestseller.

Amazon allows you to choose up to three categories. Depending on the genre and niche where you publish, there may be more or less subcategories and placement options. The more niche the book placement is, the better your chances of becoming a bestseller. You only need to be the first book in one category, and this is easier with some categories than others.

Let’s say you’ve written a young adult novel about two private eyes who fall in love in a dystopian New York while trying to rescue a harmless alien. In that case, your book placement might look something like this:

Kindle Direct Publishing Categories

Depending on how well the top-selling book in that category is performing, it might be relatively easy to rank in the top ten. However, if you simply place your book in the Teen & Young Adult category, the competition will be far fiercer.

Integrate Keywords Throughout Your Book Description

If you want to learn how to become an Amazon bestseller, then you need to become keyword savvy. This is important enough that Amazon KDP has dedicated an entire page to it.

Using the right keywords is two-pronged since there are two different ways for you to use them. First, and arguably the most important, you can set up to seven keywords when uploading your book.

Kindle Direct Publishing Keywords

Secondly, you can incorporate keywords throughout your book description. This will help readers and the algorithm determine which categories to show your book in.

Kindle Direct Publishing Description

According to Amazon KDP, the most useful keyword types for fiction are things like:

  • The book setting (colonial, New York, alternate universe, etc.)
  • Character types (Princess, vampire, single mom, etc.)
  • Character roles (Lone wolf, strong male lead, etc.)
  • Plot themes ( reconciliation, family, coming of age, etc.)
  • Story tone (dystopian, feel-good, etc.)

Things to avoid include:

  • Unsubstantiated claims
  • Categorizations covered by the category section
  • Variants of the same words

In short, you don’t want to use the keywords as an opportunity for a sales pitch. You want to use them to help point readers in the right direction.

Top tip: Look at similar books in your target category, that are performing well. Some of their keywords may be applicable to your book as well. Of course, they aren’t just going to give you a list of keywords. But, you can look under the “More like Book Title” heading for a list of tags that will give you a good idea. You can also use a free keyword tool to analyze the page and give you more idea.

Price Your Book Strategically

Of course, no guide on how to become a bestselling Amazon author would be complete without discussing book pricing. General pricing for a book is fairly simple. Just look at other books in the genre that are performing well and have a similar number of pages. You want to pick a price within that same price range.

However, if your goal is to become a bestseller on the platform, you need to be a little counterintuitive at first. For the launch day and a whole week thereafter, you should sell your book cheap. And I mean, $0.99 for the ebook is cheap.

Remember, as an aspiring bestseller, your primary goal is sales volume and not mass income straight away. By lowering the price to an insane point in the first week, you can get people to make snap decisions. If you start off at $10 or more, people are going to take more time to think about it.

Market Your Book Effectively

If you ask almost any successful KDP author how to become a bestseller on Amazon, they’re going to talk about marketing. Having a good book marketing plan is essential if you want to make a success of your book.

Here are a few tips by other bestselling authors:

  1. Use social media to let people know about your book. You should start doing this a few weeks or months before the official launch.
  2. Buy your book. While it sounds odd, buying your own book allows you to do a quality check and helps boost your seller ratings.
  3. Give free copies of the book away, and then ask them to leave reviews. This will go a significant way towards increasing your sales.
  4. Use any platforms you have to promote. Whether it’s a mailing list, a blog, or a podcast.
  5. Link to your book in your email signature, and social media bios.

Final Thoughts

Joining the ranks of the Amazon bestselling authors may sound like a hopeless task. In truth, it’s not nearly as complex as people think. This is especially true if you have access to brilliant online tools like a duplicate word finder to help you weed out words you’ve overused.

If you follow the steps given in this article, you can become a bestselling Amazon author in no time.


At Voxtury, we prioritize using high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to ensure our articles are accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. To learn more about our commitment to quality and how we fact-check our content, please visit our editorial process page.

  1. Forbes – How To Become an Amazon Best Seller
  2. Scribe Media – How to Become an Amazon Bestseller: A Guide To Reaching #1
  3. Hustle and Flowchart – Becoming an Amazon #1 Bestseller
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