Thursday, October 15, 2015

Self-Publishing Success: The Little Rabbit That Could

Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin, the most famous author you have never heard of, has been making the news recently. His children's book, The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep, has been touted as an overnight success after it hit #1 on Amazon's bestseller list with seemingly no promotion.

How did Ehrlin's self-published Rabbit manage to garner the top position on Amazon? There was some speculation that he may have gamed the system by having everyone he knew purchase copies simultaneously (this has been done before) - but 20,000 copies? 

The mystery of how Ehrlin won such spectacular success - including a 7-figure advance from Random House - is finally revealed. Publisher's Weekly has conducted an interview with Ehrlin in which the author revealed how his book became a bestseller - step by step.

A Self-Published Sleeper: Author of 'The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep' Speaks

By Claire Kirch | Oct 07, 2015, Publisher's Weekly

"Initially, Ehrlin focused on selling Rabbit at seminars he conducted before various groups and the classes he taught at Jonkoping University. The word-of-mouth praise that effort drove, he said, resulted in people talking about the book to the press. This, he said, propelled sales of the book in Sweden. After Rabbit became a bestseller in Sweden, Ehrlin decided to solicit “friends and their friends” to assist him in translating the book into approximately half a dozen languages so that it could reach a wider audience.

After the various translated editions were self-published in 2014, through Amazon’s CreateSpace imprint, the U.K. edition, Ehrlin said, received “the most attention.” This, he assumes, is attributed to the the fact that he gave away e-book editions of the title via Facebook.

"I did some ads there saying the book existed and [people] could try it for free and see if they liked it or not."

Ehrlin thinks that the people who downloaded the free e-books must have recommended the title to their friends, and those friends then sought out the print edition. “There was a correlation there” between the growing number of free downloads and sales of the print book," he noted. “Then the snowball started rolling, I think. There was a lot of word of mouth.”

Read the rest of this article HERE.

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