There are lots of factors which must be in place to create a bestseller, and, we’ve got to be honest, one of them is luck!
There is nothing quite as powerful as writing the right book and showing it to the right person who just happens to be in the right frame of mind to want to give your book a chance.
While there are some factors we simply can’t control, the good news is that there are lots that you can. If you want to write a book it takes hard work and dedication, if you want to write a bestseller it’s even more difficult. But there are tried and tested methods and certain things you simply must do if yo want to write a book that goes on to become popular. You may think it's all about networking, building up a fanbase, and knowing the right people, but in fact, a lot must be done before your book is published to ensure it hits the bestsellers lists.
One thing we all know for certain is that no badly written book is going to make it as a bestseller no matter how much it is expertly marketed. Think about celebrity vanity projects which have huge budgets and all the right industry people behind them - if they aren’t good they still end up being remembered as embarrassing flops that no one is allowed to talk about!
The same goes for writing - if you want your book to be successful it has to be pretty damn good.
So what strategies should every writer employ to ensure their book is a success?
Make sure it has a clear and obvious purpose
Whether the book you are writing is fact or fiction, it must be clear to your reader what it is about, and the sooner they have clarity the better. Ideally, the title and cover will reveal a lot about your books content, the blurb on the back will do even more, and by the end of the first few pages, your reader will have a very clear sense of what to expect.
If you fail to do this you risk disappointing your reader, confusing them, letting them down, and even angering them. If a reader feels misled in any way they will turn against your book and you. They won’t buy it, they will leave a bad review, they’ll bad mouth it to friends, and if this happens frequently this spells disaster for your book.
Think of your book as a collection or essays or short stories
If you are writing a non-fiction book each chapter should teach a lesson, should contain interesting points, summaries and snappy excerpts that stick in a reader's mind and they can take away with them and apply elsewhere. If you are writing a fiction book each chapter should be as carefully crafted as your novel as a whole. Chapters should start off with impact, be packed with action and intrigue and end with a cliffhanger that gives the reader no choice but to keep on reading.
Make your book timeless
This piece of advice is particularly pertinent for writers of non- fiction books but can also be applied to fiction writers work. For writers of non-fiction giving your readers information which stands the test of time will ensure your book remains relevant and useful for years to come - so people will continue to buy it. In terms of fiction, coming up with a unique and clever concept and a plot that will appeal to many generations is a good way to ensure that it continues to be bought and enjoyed by readers of all ages, all over the world. Writing about trendy of niche topics could gain you brief popularity, but if these topics become irrelevant, so will your book.
So there you have it. Using these strategies will help you write the best book possible, and begin your journey to launching a bestseller!
Do you have any top tips for writing a bestseller? Share them with us here!
One of the things we learned in class the other day was trying to find a theme for our memoirs. The instructor seemed to think the power of depression is what my theme seems to be. I would not have considered that. She came to this conclusion when I said I was trying to remember and write what factors have contributed to my depression over the years. I guess it was just too broad to say that it's about depression and getting onto Prozac. I have also pointed out how I came to terms with my depressive state, wondering if it might be bipolar disorder or cyclothymia, but learning it is dysthymia, a low-grade form of depression that seems to have been written about less than bipolar disorder has been written about.Perhaps that is part of my theme.
Since I devoted each chapter to a particular subject, I guess I can see my book as collection of essays or short stories on the subject being explored in each chapter.
I have now begun to wonder if the subject of my book is in fact timeless. I have noted in amy story how different things were in the 1980s when I was a teen. How passing notes in class on folded paper was a precursor to texting in class today. How the Walkman and the boom box gave way to the iPod. And now I'm hearing how vinyl records are becoming popular nearly 30 years after the CD overtook them as the dominant medium for listening to music.
More than year earlier, when I felt discourages about attempting a book on the subject of Prozac since an iconic book on that subject already existed, one thing my boss pointed out then is how things evolve over the years. Thirty years is a lot of time to see such evolution. And now I'm seeing articles saying that "Prozac Nation is now the United States of Xanax." Even if what this article believes is now true, I know plenty of people suffering from depression, and probably anxiety alongside the depression. That's sure true of me. And I have never had Xanax. Some things still are true, even when facts like these evolve over the years. Perhaps this is something I could note as an afterword or maybe a preface or introduction, or add to the prologue I have already written. In the new afterword to Prozac Nation, Elizabeth Wurtzel notes that the world has changed, it always does. She mentions how memoirs were once not a common form of books, though some celebrities wrote autobiographies. But now memoirs are everywhere. I've gotten into reading them lately, which could be why I chose to do one myself.
One of the things my psychiatrist said when I first told him I wanted to attempt such a story was that I can always write for myself, without worrying about it becoming a bestseller. Though I would like to to see it sell some copies, should it become published.