Writing a book recommendation list will help you sell books by doing two things...
First, it gets your book in front of readers who are a perfect match for your book.
Bob writes a historical fiction book about the D-Day landings and a group of Canadian soldiers who go through that experience. If Bob writes a book list on "the best non-fiction books about the D-Day landings," he knows that the readers who visit that list will also be interested in his book. Or, if he writes a book list on "the best historical fiction about World War 1 and 2," he knows that readers who land on that list will also be interested in his book.
This is why it is so important that the topic/theme of your book recommendation list is a good match for your target audience. So that anyone who lands on your list is going to be interested in your book as well. Shepherd does a lot behind the scenes to help deliver those readers to your list; you just have to know who your target reader is.
This can also be done by mood, feeling, and other themes. This gives you a lot of room to play with how you approach and share books with readers. You can do things like:
- The best books from a real-life astronaut (so more about you and where you are coming from)
- The best mystery books for a cold night in front of a warm fire (more mood/feeling based)
- The best books to read if you are thinking about becoming a doctor (very personal selection)
- The best romance books for a hot read on a warm beach (mood/feeling based)
If you need help, email Ben at email@example.com, and he can recommend some ideas and help you with this process.
Second, your book recommendations show your passion, expertise, and voice. This gets readers interested in you and your book, even though you are recommending other books.
Our book recommendation format is carefully designed to give readers five great book recommendations while putting an author in front of the perfect audience for their book. And our format shows the author’s passion and expertise for the topic/theme. This gets readers even more interested in you and your book and is a virtuous cycle leading to book sales. Let me prove it…
Lawrence Goldstone did an amazing book list in July on the best books for white people to learn (just a little) about Black people. It is a great list, and I recommend you check it out. Henry Louis Gates Jr., the famous TV host, and renowned Harvard professor, loved the list and shared it on his Twitter and Facebook feeds. This resulted in a ton of traffic, specifically 7,400 unique visitors who visited the page in July.
So, how many books did Lawrence Goldstone sell versus the 5 books he recommended on the list?
The author’s book sold at a ratio of 1:1 against the five other books on his list. That means that if 500 books were sold, 250 of those books were the author’s book, and 250 of those books were the other five recommended books. This shows the power of this format as a way to connect with readers.
Keep in mind that I can only see sales made within 24 hours from Amazon. And I also don’t know how this ratio changes yet per genre or topic. I will share more data in the future as we grow and learn more.