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Welcome to Season 4 of The Book Marketing Action Podcast with Becky Robinson, where we give you information that you can immediately implement to increase your influence and market your books more successfully. 

This episode is about the exciting return of USA TODAY’s Best-selling Booklist! Becky is joined by sisters Nancy Sheed, Social Media Marketing and Communications Consultant at Sheed Communications, and Holland Saltsman, Owner of The Novel Neighbor. During the episode, Nancy and Holland discuss various bestseller lists and what they mean for authors, why USA TODAY’s list is so unique, and how authors and independent booksellers can benefit from its return. 

Key Points From This Episode:

[03:33] Nancy and Holland reveal some of the bestseller lists that most authors pay attention to and why some of them are not easily attainable.

[05:56] Discover why USA TODAY’s Best-selling Booklist went on hiatus and what was previously driving the selection of books on the list. 

[07:46] Nancy and Holland share what is different about USA TODAY’s revised list and how it is more reflective of what the people want. 

[12:14] What features of USA TODAY’s list are different from other mainstream lists? Nancy and Holland share a few of the most important. 

[14:54] Learn what kind of titles have been showing up on USA TODAY’s Best-selling Booklist in the months since its return. 

[16:35] Nancy and Holland outline some of the criteria for authors who are hoping to make the list organically and land in the top 150. 

[21:16] What else should authors know about USA TODAY’s Best-selling Booklist and how is it helping to support independent booksellers? Nancy discusses. 

[22:14] Holland talks about how independently published authors may get their book on the shelves of a brick-and-mortar store like The Novel Neighbor. 

[26:37] Nancy and Holland share their final thoughts about USA TODAY’s Best-selling Booklist.

[32:22] Rebecca-mendations: Nancy and Holland reveal their latest book recommendations. 

Action Steps:

  1. Check out USA TODAY’s Best-selling Booklist. Take a look at the books that are showing up there, the criteria, and the data that has been gathered to fuel the list. It may give you some ideas as you craft your book marketing strategy. 
  2. As you plan your book marketing strategy, consider what part you can play in supporting independent booksellers. One of the upsides of fueling a campaign where you send sales to independent stores is that it might increase your likelihood of landing on a bestseller list.


Key Quotes:

In addition to the list, there is now more featured content, and one of those new pieces every week is a profile of an independent bookstore somewhere in the United States. —Nancy Sheed

Not only are you getting to know all of these diverse and wonderful [booksellers], you’re also having each one of them show some of the unique books that they’re trying to hand-sell, and what makes each one of them a little more special. —Holland Saltsman 

Here’s a nationally recognized list that you truly are a bestseller of to compete with the other lists that are not as achievable for most authors. —Nancy Sheed

It’s an opportunity to really get a great breadth of what the people are reading. Because even if you’re number 89, that’s still 89 across the country, and to be able to be on that list is phenomenal. —Holland Saltsman 

This list is a very organic way to get everybody talking nicely and getting better visibility than they might otherwise have had. —Nancy Sheed

To connect with Becky Robinson, send her an email here!