Not long ago, an author sent me a message that read, in part, as follows (edited for clarity):
"The consensus is: nobody can guarantee a marketing strategy that can guarantee success, even though others, reviewers, and bloggers think my books are the best thing since sliced bread. . . . Now, if you have an enlightening strategy, with guarantees? I would love to hear from you."
Clearly, this person has been having a hard time, so I don't blame them for being frustrated.
At the same time, their requirements are astoundingly unrealistic. The best marketing team in the world couldn't give you the kind of guarantee this person asks for, because we ultimately can't control what readers choose to buy and consume. We can increase the odds that they'll choose our books by writing great stories and having well-planned and -executed marketing campaigns.
But at the end of the day, any type of book marketing requires some risk. If a book marketer tells you that they guarantee bestseller status or a certain number of sales for your book, get as far away from that person as you can. A claim like that suggests either hopeless optimism or brazen dishonesty. And neither you nor your books need that!
(Thanks to Isaac Smith for sharing their work on Unsplash.)