One week ago, our book, Simplify, debuted on Amazon for the Kindle. By the end of the day, it had become the #1 Best Selling Self-Help book on Amazon – not just the #1 digital download, but the actual #1 book (hardcover, paperback, or digital). Interestingly enough, it had also become the #1 Best Selling book in the Spirituality Category as well.
For the past 8 days, it hasn’t moved from that top spot. For over one week, it has been the Best Selling Self-Help book on Amazon… beating out some pretty well-known authors in the process. At one point, it was even the #11 Best Selling Nonfiction download on Amazon outselling books by Darrell Hammond, Chris Mathews, Regis Philbin, and Bill Clinton.
Last night, I was reading with my son in our living room. (Coincidentally, he just so happened to be reading the #1 Best Selling Book on all of Amazon at the time: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever). When my wife returned home, in her hand was a copy of the most recent Green Living Magazine sporting a large picture of Dr. Andrew Weil on the cover. My 9-year old son turned to me and said, “Look dad, it’s a picture of the guy who is in second place on that book list you keep looking up.” He was correct: I do keep looking up the list.
But more significantly, Dr. Weil’s book, Spontaneous Happiness, has indeed been second place in the Self-Help category most of the past week. At that point, my son turned to me again with a puzzled look on his face and asked, “How come you’re in first place if he’s famous and gets to be on magazine covers and stuff?” I replied, “That’s a great question. To be honest, I have no idea. I’m not really sure how all of this has happened. I think I’m just getting kinda lucky. Oh, and I have some really great friends online who have helped me get here.”
And that’s the truth. This book’s success has little to do with me. I had no business plan or marketing strategy. I have a book that strikes a chord with people and gives them permission to get off the life-draining treadmill of consumerism. I have a blog with a few thousand subscribers. I have some good friends online willing to help me. And that has proven to be enough.
As I began to reflect on that fact and the overwhelming nature of this past week, it seemed that now would be an appropriate time to thank some of those people who have made this book’s success possible…
So, starting from the very beginning, a heart-felt thank you to the men and women who have contributed to a #1 Amazon Best-Seller:
___Thanks to June - my neighbor in Vermont who first introduced me to the idea of minimalism over Memorial Day weekend, 2008. Thanks also to her daughter who was living out a minimalist life and modeling it for her.
___Thanks to Josh Griffin who originally introduced me to WordPress. It was also his blog that shaped much of my blogging strategy in the early days of writing.
___Thanks to the early commenters on this blog who gave me reassurance that this was a story worth sharing and encouraged me along in the journey.
___Thanks to Everett Bogue for writing the ebook that inspired me to write Simplify. I learned most of my second-generation blogging strategy by watching him. He was also the one that inspired me to join Twitter - which has subsequently led to countless online relationships with fellow bloggers.
___Thanks to my wife and children for allowing their dad to spend his evenings and days off completing the book. Thanks to Martha B. and Jana B. for slowly and meticulously editing the first drafts of the book. Also, thanks to Nick K. in Omaha, NE for launching my speaking career shortly after the book’s launch.
___Thanks to the early affiliates/reviews/interviews associated with Simplify’s first launch. Some of the interviews that still stick out to me include: Naomi Seldin Ramirez, Jonathan Blundell, and Tanna Clark.
___Again, thanks to Leo Babauta who invited me to write a guest post for his blog, Zen Habits. Writing for the #1 Blog in the World (as determined by Time Magazine) brought increased traffic, notoriety, and confidence. Also, his positive review of Simplify brought countless more traffic to Becoming Minimalist.
___Thanks to Karol Gajda who re-introduced me to the idea of publishing Simplify on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.
___Thanks to Courtney Carver for introducing me to Chris O’ Byrne who would eventually reformat Simplify for the Kindle. He was a pleasure to work with throughout the entire process walking me through each step. His high esteem was cemented in my mind when late in the reformatting process, I apologetically asked him to make a last-minute change. His response: “Don’t apologize. This is your book. I want it to be exactly the way you want it to be.” Golden.
___Thanks to Deb at Red Willow Design Studio for the beautiful new cover art.
The book launched. I wrote a post to notify my readers. And then I waited…
___Over the course of the next 24-48 hours, countless online friends began spreading the word. The book was soon tweeted on Twitter, shared on Facebook, and +1′d on Google Plus. I have countless (even unknown) people to thank for spreading the word so extensively that this book would immediately climb the charts in the manner that it did. Some of the people that immediately come to mind include Joshua Milburn, Adam Baker, Corbett Barr, Chris Guillebeau, Dave Bruno, Colin Wright, Amy Bowman, Colin Ryan, Tammy Strobel, Laura Wittmann, Francine Jay, and Corey Allen. Needless to say, there are far more that need to be thanked… you know who you are. Thank you.
___But most of all, thank you to the readers of Becoming Minimalist. Thank you for purchasing the book, supporting the work, and spreading the word. You are among the most faithful, encouraging readers on the Internet today. I know it to be true – and so do other bloggers. Know that you mean far more to me than mere statistics.
You encourage me, challenge me, and motivate me as a writer and as a person. Thank you for changing me and shaping my life. You’ve made this ride far more enjoyable than I could have ever imagined.
Through Sunday, November 20, Simplify: 7 Guiding Principles to Help Anyone Declutter their Home and Life will remain priced at $0.99 on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. You can support the work by buying the book, leaving a review, or spreading the word. On Monday, the price of the book will increase to $2.99. Additionally, our second-book, Inside-Out Simplicity, is also available for only $0.99 on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords through this weekend. So download your copy today. And thank you in advance.