Joe Wilkert on How to Hit the Bestseller Lists

Posted on February 23, 2005

Joe Wilkert, the Vice-President and Publisher for the Trade and Professional Divison of Wiley, has started a blog he is calling the Average Joe (did he watch that reality tv show, by chance?). One very interesting entry discusses what makes a book a bestseller.

He discusses three different areas: platform, placement and promotion. Platform has to do with the author's reach -- issues like whether the author has a column with a widely-read newspaper, for example.

Joe says that the platform has expanded to include the circulation of the author's email newsletter or how many people read his or her blog. Joe says placement has to do with the publisher getting the book into bookstores. He says promotion is the trickiest part and talks about newspaper ads and in-store book promotions. Fortunately for authors and journalists, Joe thinks that platform is the most important element.

Joe writes, "But the sales difference between a book written by an author with a solid platform vs. one with a lesser or no platform is huge. Thanks to all the platform vehicles available these days, authors can help drive more sales than ever before."


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