Amazon Prime Day ended on Tuesday, and already, Amazon is crowing about its success. The two-day sales event drew large numbers of deal-hungry shoppers: Prime members purchased more than million items worldwide between June 21 and June
Amazon hasn't revealed its total haul from the event in terms of revenue. But it has revealed a list of the most popular items that people shopped for during Prime Day And the results are somewhat surprising.
One might expect the top Prime Day seller to be an Amazon-made gadget such as the Echo Dot or Ring video doorbell, or perhaps a discounted smart TV with Alexa built in. But in reality, the deals most Prime Day shoppers went wild over included dental products, small home appliances and a three-pack of apple cider vinegar gummies, instead.
The popular products below may no longer be available at their Prime Day prices, but many are still on sale. Here are the best sellers from Amazon Prime Day , as reported by Amazon.
Waterpik Electric Water Flosser
The Waterpik Aquarius Water Flosser (WP), identified by Amazon as one of the best selling products in the U.S. this Prime Day, removes up to % of plaque from treated areas. It features 10 pressure settings and a ounce reservoir that holds 90 seconds of water capacity. The Waterpik is the only water flosser brand to earn the American Dental Association seal of acceptance.
$70 at Amazon
Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips
This kit from Crest, a worldwide best-seller during Prime Day , includes 20 daily treatments and claims to whiten your teeth by 18 shades. These enamel-safe strips are designed to whiten like a professional-level whitening treatment, but are easy enough to apply yourself from the comfort of your own home.
$44 at Amazon
Apple Cider Vinegar Gummy Vitamins by Goli Nutrition (3 pack)
Prime Day is over, but you'll still get $3 off when you buy this three-pack of Goli apple cider vinegar gummies from Amazon, another worldwide Prime Day fave. These vegan, gluten-free gummies claim to aide in digestion, clear skin troubles and provide an energy boost.
$43 at Amazon
Orgain Organic Plant Based Protein Powder
This chocolate-flavored, plant-based protein powder is still on sale for more than 45% off. Mix it with water, milk or your favorite shake for a nutritious boost. This U.S. best-seller can even be used for baking.
$22 at Amazon
23andMe Health DNA Test
This at-home DNA testing kit tells you what region of the world your ancestors are from, and shows you how your genetics can influence your health. After submitting a sample of your DNA (via spit), you'll receive data detailing your chances of developing certain health conditions and if you're a carrier for certain inherited conditions such as type 2 diabetes.
This U.S. Prime Day hit normally retails for $
$ at Amazon
iRobot Roomba robot vacuum
The iRobot Roomba 's three-step cleaning system loosens, lifts and suctions dirt, dust and debris from your home. Cleanings can be scheduled using the iRobot Home app or a compatible voice assistant such as Alexa.
This iRobot Roomba model, a U.S. and worldwide best-seller, is on sale right now for $20 off.
$ at Amazon
Instant Pot Duo Plus pressure cooker
Instant Pots were a hot item with U.S. shoppers during Amazon Prime Day This model, the most popular of Amazon's Prime Day deals, serves as a pressure cooker, slow cooker, sauté pan, rice cooker, yogurt maker, seamer, food warmer, sous vide and sterilizer.
$ at Amazon
Keurig K-Slim coffee maker
This space-saving coffee maker was a big hit with worldwide shoppers during Amazon Prime Day It's less than 5-inches wide, so it won't clutter your kitchen counter. But it's still large enough to hold a ounce reservoir that lets you brew up to four cups of coffee before refilling. Makes 8-ounce, ounce and ounce cups.
$65 at Amazon
15 Amazon Best Sellers to Buy on Prime Day
nuLOOM Paisley Verona Vintage Persian Area Rug
Five-Star Ratings: 3, and counting
A rug that’s not only affordable but also looks incredible? It’s no wonder people have referred to it as “the unicorn of rugs.”
Notable Review: “I don't know a lot about area rugs, but in my very long search for an eight-foot square one, I had come to the conclusion it was the unicorn of rug sizes: mythical, beautiful, and completely non-existent. When stalking the prime day deals one sleepless night, faint fairy laughter presaged my eyes alighting upon this miracle. I sat up in bed. I grabbed my bifocals. Could the perfect floor covering for my dining room really be a single click away? Mortal noises can't sum up how delighted I am with this purchase. I stare at it in satisfaction; my very own Unicorn, captured and perfect at my feet. Anyway, very nice rug, highly recommend!”
$; $ at Amazon
I became a best-selling author on Amazon in five minutes with three dollars
I would like to tell you about the biggest lie in book publishing. It appears in the biographies and social media profiles of almost every working “author” today. It’s the word “best seller.”
This isn’t about how The New York Times list is biased (though it is). This isn’t about how authors buy their way onto various national best-seller lists by buying their own books in bulk (though they do). No, this is about the far more insidious title of “Amazon Best Seller”—and how it’s complete and utter nonsense.
Here’s what happened in the book industry over the last few years: As Amazon has become the big dog in the book world, the “Amazon Best Seller” status has come to be synonymous with being an actual best seller. This is not true, and I can prove it.
How to become an Amazon best-selling author
A while ago, I put up a fake book on Amazon. I took a photo of my foot, uploaded it as a book to Amazon, and in a matter of hours had achieved “№1 Best Seller” status, complete with the orange banner and everything.
How many copies did I need to sell to be able to call up my mother and celebrate my newfound authorial achievements? Three. Yes, a total of three copies to become a best-selling author. And I bought two of those copies myself!
The reason people aspire to call themselves “best-selling author” is because it dramatically increases your credibility and “personal brand.” It can establish you as a thought leader. You’re able to show that you not only wrote a book, but that the market has judged it to be better than other books out there. It’s a status symbol, one that cashes in on the prestige of one of man’s oldest pastimes. At last, I had acquired this coveted title for myself.
I’m a partner at a marketing company called Brass Check. Over the years, we’ve helped launch 30 legitimate New York Times best sellers (including several at the sought-after №1 spot). My company has helped sell over five million books and advised or managed book launches with every major publishing house, including Amazon.
We have important rules at my company about the projects we take on. We don’t work with authors whose books we wouldn’t read ourselves, and we don’t guarantee best-seller status. We say no to more work than we say yes to, but these principles help us avoid the gimmicky, one-hit-wonders who aren’t looking to write great books but instead are looking to trick people into thinking they have.
But it’s begun to feel a bit like a losing battle. Because those authors are everywhere these days. The title of my fake book was Putting My Foot Down for a reason: I’ve become utterly exhausted with phony “authors” and the scam artists and charlatans who conspire with these folks—the cottage industry that has built up around them, selling courses, instructions, and hacks. A quick Google search returns dozens of “best-selling books,” courses, packages, schools, secrets, summits, and webinars teaching you how to become a “best-selling author.” Hell, this guy even promises to show you how to be a best-selling author “Even if You Have No Book Ideas, Writing Skills, or Any Clue Where To Start” in a “5Phase Formula.”
Heart Centered Media will give you “Guaranteed Best-Seller Status” for just “3 payments of $1,,” although they let you know “Book Sales are NOT Guaranteed.” Denise Cassino promises that with her services, “You’ll forever after be a ‘Best-Selling Author!’ a tag that will open doors otherwise closed to you”…for just $3, Jesse Krieger over at “Bestseller Campaign Blueprint” encourages you to “Imagine looking on Amazon and seeing…Your book on the Best-Seller Lists next to your author heroes” and lets you know he can deliver that dream for just $ Peggy McColl has “Launched Perhaps MORE Best Sellers Than ANY Other” and will teach you how for only $2,
It used to be a real mark of distinction to hit the best-seller lists–because there were fewer lists and fewer authors (and before ebooks, pricing across books was pretty universal as well). TheNew York Times list has been the most prestigious, published in one form or another since By , a national list made its debut, compiled according to “reports from leading booksellers in 22 cities.” By the mids, over 4, bookstores were polled each week to determine who deserved to be on the list. The Wall Street Journal list, which has been around since , is based on Nielsen Bookscan and tends to focus on a smaller number of categories. The USA Today list is also a prestigious but more of a catch-all list.
Any industry person can tell you these lists have their problems. There’s a barely concealed editorial bias. Bookscan, the database that tabulates book sales, inexplicably doesn’t include Amazon’s ebook sales. There’s even the possibility of manipulation, as outlined in a Wall Street Journal article called “The Mystery of the Book Sales Spike.” Still, they remain relatively hard to crack. In most cases, your book not only has to be good enough for a legitimate publisher to publish it, but you have to outsell all the other books out there, past and present, even if you’re paying for it out of your pocket. We’ve had clients sell close to 10, copies in a single week and miss landing on these charts.
Because of the high bar, the term “best-selling author” was a term with some meaning. It was seen as something that was earned through a lot of hard work. But today, that designation has changed—for the worse. It’s like when you see a food described as “natural.” The FDA doesn’t actually regulate that term, so it’s basically meaningless.
It’s about time that readers—and the media, which breathlessly repeats the best-selling claims of these authors—wised up. So let me show you exactly how I became a number one Amazon best seller for $2 and a photo of my foot in less than five minutes (with screenshots and proof). Hopefully, as my partner Ryan has put it, once you understand how the sausage is made, you won’t want to eat it any more.
Step one: Writing my book (~two seconds)
I didn’t feel like writing a book so I instead just took a photo of my foot. I called the book Putting My Foot Down and included one page with, you guessed it, a photo of my foot.
Step two: Uploading and formatting on Amazon (~three minutes)
They say picking a title is the hardest part of writing a book. Don’t I know it!
Verifying rights and choosing categories
Amazon has their own “best-seller” rankings for books, based upon categories. If you’re in the Top in your Amazon category, you will see a “best-seller ranking” below the title. A book at the #1 spot in any given category will get a “#1 Best Seller” banner featured next to the title. This lets potential customers know the book is the top-selling item in that category. If a book holds the top spot in a category for months, that’s saying something. Hitting it for an hour (which is how often Amazon refreshes its rankings), screenshotting it, and calling yourself a “best-selling author” for life? Well…
A few more things to know, in case you want to try this at home:
- Amazon has over categories for books, down to things as specific as transpersonal movements and freemasonry studies (as you’ll see below).
- When you publish on Amazon, Amazon allows YOU to choose the category your book tracks in.
- You can set the price of your book, down to $
I decided my foot was worthy of the “Transpersonal” category under psychology books and “Freemasonry & Secret Societies” category under social sciences books. I’ve always wanted to have an affiliation with the Freemasons.
Designing my cover
Amazon features a handy “Cover Creator” that will lay text over any image and create your cover in a matter of seconds. I chose my foot for the image.
Waiting for approval from Amazon
The waiting is the worst part of the process. What if Amazon rejected my foot?
Never mind, we’re approved!
Amazon page is live
Just a few short hours later, another book is added to Amazon’s extraordinary catalog. One small step for me…one giant leap for the digital world.
Step three: Asking three friends to buy the book (~one minute)
Aaron always has my back, no questions asked:
The time invested in this promotion could have been even shorter if Nick had not asked so many nettlesome questions.
Step four: Sell some copies
Burst onto the scene with three copies sold in the first few hours. Look at that hockey stick growth!
Step five: WE MADE IT! #1
Success! Just a reminder to the kids that if you work hard, own an iPhone with a working camera, and have no shame, you too can be a number one best-selling author. What a thrill to see that number one best seller banner! Time to put Drake on repeat and update my LinkedIn profile to include “#1 Best Selling Author.”
Not just one list either. The book was so popular it also hit #2 and #3 in the “Freemasonry” category.
Leading the pack. Sorry Monika and Ken.
Amazon is the largest book retailer in the world. They carry over 33 million titles and ship them pretty much anywhere in the world. At the same time, Amazon also allows authors to publish titles directly onto the platform, without the approval of traditional publishers, editors, or, as my foot book proves, really any barriers at all. In , a new book was added to Amazon every five minutes.
Gone are the days of having to be selected to put out a book. Gone are the days of having to go to a bookstore to see what is available. Now you can check online, with real time reviews, AND real time “best seller” rankings. It’s unsurprising that as the barriers to entry for the book business went down, so did the quality of the books being produced. These days, over one million books are published each year, with at least half of these self-published. So it’s almost obvious that, given the volume, you could game your way to the top of a category with very few sales. And yet, in spite of the fact that it’s as easy as I’ve shown to become an Amazon best seller, those same people get to cash in on the goodwill and prestige build up in the title “best-selling author.”
* * *
I didn’t write this to make my foot famous. I wrote this post because I’m tired of vanity titles and success without quality. I also wanted to show how simple it is to call yourself a best-selling author, in the hopes that people buying books become more discerning customers. Remember, if I can make my foot a “best-selling author” for under $3 and a few minutes of work, you should take any person presenting themselves as such with a grain of salt.
For the authors: I hope my story illustrates that the best marketing tactic you can use for a book is to write a great book that actually sells over the long term. It’s easy to be seduced by best seller lists, sales numbers, speaking fees, and all the ephemera in this industry. Don’t let all of that make you lose sight of the importance of quality and authority in your work. Anyone can be a one-hit wonder; focus on crafting a book that will sell for decades.
As for me and my foot, I’m awaiting a movie studio’s call for the film rights and plugging away on the sequel. The working title is Put the Right Foot Forward. New York Timeslist, here we come.
This post originally appeared at Medium.
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