International publisher Samhain Publishing® has been delighted to share in the success of a growing number of authors who have reached the New York Times eBook and USA Today Bestsellers lists. Those authors include Maya Banks, Lorelei James, Shelli Stevens, Vivien Arend, Jayne Rylon, Mari Carr, Lauren Dane and Tessa Dare – and the list keeps growing. But what makes an eBook a Bestseller?
High Quality Work
“First and foremost, an author has to be committed to writing an amazing book,” says Lindsey Faber, publisher. “To ensure that Samhain remains the gold standard of eBook fiction, our editors have high expectations of their authors.” While that could be true of any format, Faber emphasized that for eBook fiction, quality is particularly important. “Readers are becoming savvier by the day — even as more authors are sharing their work online via traditional publishers, small press publishers, or through self-publication. You have to have consistently high quality work to build a fan base, and that requires careful editing and copy-editing — and reviews that show your work is top notch.” Quality goes beyond editorial, of course: having a compelling cover and eye-catching title and blurb are also critical components to your book’s overall presence in the marketplace.
A Reader-Friendly Publication Schedule
“One of the greatest advantages of digital publishing is the speed with which you can get books into readers’ hands,” Faber explains. “As a result, your readers’ expectation is that you will deliver books on a fairly aggressive time-table. At Samhain, we work with authors to ensure their book release schedule matches audience demand—without over-saturating the market.”
A Focus on Connected Novels/Novellas (optional)
In line with the above, a connected series of books can help speed an author’s path to bestsellerdom. “Readers enjoy falling in love with a place—a group of characters—a storyline,” Faber says. “If they know you have another book already set in a world they’ve come to know and love, we’ve found that they will always come back for more.”
Distribution, Or Finding Where Your Readers Are
How can readers discover your books — or find yours among the hundreds of thousands of titles available? The answer is through a savvy distribution scheme. “Having a proprietary website where we offer 5-6 new titles a week – all easily searchable – is one advantage we can offer authors at Samhain, along with focused digital and print ad campaigns, contests and social media promotions,” Faber explains. “The key is to make sure your book is easy to find, and is featured in places that might help you attract a new audience. You’ve worked hard to create a wonderful book, so make sure it reaches the most readers possible!”