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Help An Unknown Author Reach The Amazon Top 100 – #Top100Challenge

Mike Essex

by Mike Essex on 27th July 2012

Help Mike EssexIt’s Time…

With over 120 amazing volunteers (and you!) I’m attempting to reach the Amazon Top 100 with the digital version of my book “Free Stuff Everyday”. We hope to explore the power of crowd sourced viral marketing and to see if a self published author can reach the Amazon charts with a little help from his friends.

Today is the last day of this experiment so I wanted to do something good with any final sales. That’s why for any sales of the eBook today, I will be donating my entire royalty (around £1 / $1.25) to Christian Lewis Trust Kids Cancer Charity. You can help spread the word with the Twitter links below:

UK Users:
Buy “Free Stuff Everyday” today and @Koozai_Mike will donate £1 to charity for every eBook sold. http://kooz.ai/NtfJ6T (Pls RT) – Click To Tweet

US Users:
Buy “Free Stuff Everyday” today and @Koozai_Mike will donate $1.25 to charity for every eBook sold. http://kooz.ai/NtfKYv (Pls RT) – Click To Tweet

Original Story:

The last month has been a crazy whirlwind of highs and lows. From seeing my publisher officially drop the print version of the book last week, to being taken away by a massive wave of support for the project from everyone including close friends, other authors and the amazing digital marketing community.

Over 120 people have pledged their support to share the book’s Amazon page today and you can help too. Or you can read more on why I’m doing this here or learn more about the book.

We’re attempting to get from rank #51,180 in the UK and rank #26,319 in the US to rank #100 on both, which is no easy feat, so I would love your help too.

It takes 10 seconds to help, and there’s a unique prize for everyone who does.

How You Can Help

To get involved all you need to do is share a link. I’ve compiled a few quick Twitter links below, but please feel free to change the text as you wish:

For UK Readers:
“Check out “Free Stuff Everyday” by @koozai_mike – top tips for customers and brands – http://kooz.ai/NtfJ6T – #Top100Challenge” – Click To Tweet

Or “Check out “Free Stuff Everyday” by @koozai_mike and help him reach the Amazon Top 100 – http://kooz.ai/NtfJ6T– #Top100Challenge” – Click To Tweet

For US and Rest Of the World Readers:
“Check out “Free Stuff Everyday” by @koozai_mike – top tips for customers and brands – http://kooz.ai/NtfKYv – #Top100Challenge” – Click To Tweet

Or “Check out “Free Stuff Everyday” by @koozai_mike and help him reach the Amazon Top 100 – http://kooz.ai/NtfKYv – #Top100Challenge” – Click To Tweet

Direct Links
Alternatively you can use the below links and share them in any way you like:
UK LINK – http://kooz.ai/NtfJ6T
US LINK – http://kooz.ai/NtfKYv

* We are using affiliate links to allow us to track the results of this experiment. Any affiliate commission made via these links on the 27th July will be donated to Christian Lewis Trust Kids Cancer Charity as part of a fundraising effort from the Koozai Team.

Other Ways You Can Help:

• Share this page
• Write a blog post or interview me about this challenge (email me)
• Share the above links on Facebook / Google+ / LinkedIn
• Tell a friend about the challenge
•  If it seems like your cup of tea, buy a copy of the book
• Tweet a celebrity and ask them to help
• Leave a blog comment below with more ideas

Of course if you are thinking of buying the book, then there really is no better day than today. You’ll be giving the book an instant ranking boost and helping us reach the target even quicker.

The Prize

Alongside being part of a huge experiment you’ll also get a free “money can’t buy” gift. I will update the digital version of Free Stuff Everyday to include a page of names of those who helped. Your name will forever be etched in the book, and in all future digital editions of the title.

If you’d like to be included I’d love if you send me an email on mike.essex@koozai.com afterwards and let me know how you helped. I will be tracking the hashtag all day, but as there are lots of ways to help other than Twitter and I don’t want to miss anyone’s hard work, an email will be a massive help. I’ll also be adding the best bits of support to this page.

What About You?

As it’s my challenge I didn’t want to sit on my hands so I’ve also been working a ton of great items for today to help raise more coverage. Here’s what I’ve done so far;

• Sent over 1,000 emails
• Asked every social contact I have on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for help
• Written eight guest posts
• Recorded a video interview

I’m also working hard today to continue to raise awareness of the challenge and I’ll also be adding links as the other content goes live.

We Can Do It!

So the challenge is officially on. Over the day I’ll be posting updates including some of the best ways I’ve seen people help, exclusive content, any coverage we get on other sites, and of course a rolling update on the Amazon rank. In the next hour the first of my guest posts will be live on other sites, so I’ll be sharing them here too.

Thanks for your help everyone! We can do this.


How Will Social Shares Help?
Why am I asking people to share a link? Well, essentially the more times the book is viewed on Amazon, the more times it will appear in “People Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed” recommendations. This helps it get extra exposure and hopefully more sales. I’m also hoping that the shares help raise overall awareness of the book on social channels too.

Isn’t This Just A Mike Essex “Get Rich Quick Scheme”?
This was my favourite of all the comments I received. Ultimately writing books is a long process and so I’m treating this in the same way as a Kickstarter project. Any money made from sales of the book will be used to help me fund more projects and hopefully to secure a more stable print publisher in the future. If the book holds its ranking it also means I can spend less time promoting it, and more time working on other useful resources.

When Will You Reveal The Results?
I’ll be posting “live” updates throughout the day as I spot interesting developments. The complete write-up of my experiment is planned for the 10th August, which gives us enough time to see if the book drops its ranking very quickly after the 27th, and to analyse any longer term effects.

Why Should We Support Your Book Specifically?
Although I believe it’s a great book, ultimately I’m the same as a million other self published authors looking for that big break and that’s really the point of the experiment. If we can prove that a new author can reach the heights of the Amazon Top 100 relying of the help of others, then we can analyse the results and help other authors to do the same.

It’s After 27th July, Can I Still Help?
Absolutely. Whilst my main goal is to get as any shares as possible on the day, any extra shares between now and 7th August will help keep the number of shares high and increase the chance of success.

UPDATE #1: A big thank you to those who have helped so far. There have been 75 people who have helped spread the word on this challenge and through your efforts the book has jumped 12,000 places in the US from #26,319 to 14,331. Not bad for four hours! We are waiting for an update on UK sales, so fingers crossed for another boost.

I also want to thank the following places who have written blog posts, or let me write for them about the challenge: Econsultancy, SEOteky, Stoked SEO, BOOM Online, Alessio Madeyski, ClearDebt, Ideasbynet. More to come!

UPDATE #2: We just topped 100 unique shares. A big thank you to everyone, and it shows! The UK sales rank just jumped over 35,000 places from 51,180 to 15,590.

UPDATE #3:We’re now eight hours in to the challenge and have had over 120 unique shares which is epic! Best of all the UK sales rank now stands at 3,402, thats a massive leap from the 51,180 we started at. Here’s how that looks in graph form:

Status Update

In addition thanks to everyone for making us top three results of Inbound, and now the #1 consumer guide on Amazon Kindle in the UK.

UPDATE #4: It’s day four of the challenge and what an amazing response! We are now closing in on over 200 shares and the Amazon rank in the UK is now #2,049. With a closing date to reach the top 100 by 10th August, it’s going to be a very exciting week. A massive thank you to everyone who helped so far, and we are still tracking any shares if you’d still like to help.

Mike Essex

Mike Essex

Mike Essex specialises in digital marketing and everything search. A recent project of Mike’s was featured on BBC News, Radio 5Live and the Times here in the UK, whilst also featuring on USA Today and ABC News in the US. He will be writing throughout the month about digital marketing and much more...


  • Samantha Noble

    Samantha Noble 27th July 2012

    Great idea Mike and looking forward to seeing the results. When you consider how quickly the Fifty Shades book reached the top 10 off the back of social media, it shows the power of a community!

    Reply to this comment

    • Mike Essex

      Mike Essex 27th July 2012

      Thanks Sam. It’s very true. Fifty Shades was originally done via a small book company and through the power of social media and people spreading the word it’s now one of the fastest selling books of all time.

      45 people have helped so far in just over an hour, which is amazing and continues to show how strong the community is.

      Reply to this comment

  • Gaz Copeland 27th July 2012

    Now I’ve read Mike’s book and although I’ve not read 50 shades I’m pretty sure the target market us slightly different…

    Reply to this comment

  • Gaz Copeland 27th July 2012

    Now I’ve read Mike’s book and although I’ve not read 50 shades I’m pretty sure the target market is slightly different…

    Reply to this comment

  • Jackie Hole 27th July 2012

    Hey Mike – Good Luck! May I suggest adding a Pinterest board of lovely ‘Free Stuff Every Day’ naked ladies on and watch it spread around the globe ;-)

    Reply to this comment

    • Mike Essex

      Mike Essex 27th July 2012

      Thanks Jackie. That’s actually not a bad idea. Following on your idea Sam just suggested doing a Pinterest board full of freebies. Makes a lot of sense.

      Reply to this comment

  • Jackie Hole 27th July 2012

    Excellent stuff, ‘re-pin’ fingers at the ready – and don’t forget to upload that video of the Koozai office in star wars costumes singing along to Carly Rae Jepsen whilst holding a copy!!

    Reply to this comment

    • Mike Essex

      Mike Essex 27th July 2012

      “Hey I just met you, and this is crazy, but help me break the top 100, and tweet it maybe?”

      Also who should we put in carbonite? /

      Reply to this comment

  • Jim Seward 27th July 2012

    let me know the pinterest board when published and I’ll repin :-)

    Reply to this comment

    • Mike Essex

      Mike Essex 27th July 2012

      Is this the “naked ladies” pinboard or the “free stuff” one. I have a feeling one would do better than the other.

      Reply to this comment

  • Dimitri 27th July 2012

    Good luck, mike!
    and happy birthday! :)

    Reply to this comment

  • Guy Clapperton 27th July 2012

    Tweeted – and good luck.

    Reply to this comment

  • Alessio Madeyski 27th July 2012

    I interviewed this guy on my blog. Just so you know :)

    I have even his book to read, the thing I don’t have is the time :(

    Mike, whatever the experiment, congrats and keep rocking!

    Reply to this comment

  • Hellel 27th July 2012

    Done good luck

    Reply to this comment

  • Andrea Toribio 27th July 2012

    I clicked to tweet. Good luck and Happy Birthday!

    Reply to this comment

  • Tom Andrews 27th July 2012

    Best of luck, sounds like a daunting challenge!

    Reply to this comment

  • Woj Kwasi 28th July 2012

    Done – great read btw :)

    Reply to this comment

  • rowena 30th July 2012

    Great idea Mike. I am fascinated to see how your experiment works. Just shows the old “not your decision, but your out in the cold” I think are gone, and this is as good as any way to prove it. I’ll be watching…and tweeting for you!

    Reply to this comment

  • Amir Abbas 8th August 2012

    Your determination to hit no.1 spot has been admirable. Congratulations on what you have achieved so far and wish you all the best for future endeavors.

    I’m sure there are some great lessons and your achievement is an example for all of us.

    I like your gesture for Cancer, as my mother has been a victim to this deadly disease and now I felt more strong for your cause.

    Good luck !!

    Reply to this comment

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