10 Tips to Write a Bestseller
Many writers dream of writing books that will rise to the top of the bestseller list and be considered impactful or important. A bestseller, to most people, means a book that makes the bestselling list of top sites such as The New York Times or The Guardian or even Amazon.
While reaching the bestseller list might seem like an insurmountable goal, it’s not impossible if you work hard to make it there. All you’ll need are discipline, perseverance and to take a look at these ten tips below!
1. Build the Idea.
“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” Toni Morrison
If you are going to write a bestseller, you have to think big and you have to think new. It has to be a book that gets people excited to read it, not a book that is merely a repetition of what others have already written. Tolkien, the author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings spent years developing the language and setting of his books. Which leads us to believe that you must think big and be patient to develop your ideas. Many times, people feel the need to put something out there and end up releasing half-baked content. Don’t forget that these things are worthwhile and take time to come together.
2. Read Great Books.
“You should write because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of different words on a page. Writing comes from reading, and reading is the finest teacher of how to write.” Annie Proulx
Another thing to keep in mind is that you must spend a great deal of your time reading and learning from bestselling authors. According to Stephen King, the two things to do above all in order to become a great writer is to write a lot and read a lot. Samuel Johnson went further to state that he had no desire to have a conversation with anybody who has written more than he has read. Read fiction and nonfiction, read books that talk about writing styles. To write well, you must read well.
3. Give It Your All Every Time.
“If you’re going to write a book, write it as if it’s your last. Don’t hold back. Give it all you’ve got.” Tim Ferris
Whether you are a new writer or you’ve been writing for a while, you cannot write a bestseller by doing it half-heartedly. You must give it your all; all the creativity and all the time you have. Many of the bestsellers who achieved global recognition left their everyday jobs to focus on their writing, without any particular financial plan.
G.R.R. Martin, the author of the famous Song of Ice and Fire series from which the popular Game of Thrones TV show was adapted, turned down the opportunity to appear in the final season because he wanted to remain focused on his books. If a bestselling author is still very much focused on his books as if he’d never written any, then you can’t afford to do less.
4. Consider Your Audience.
“Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people, citizens of distant epochs, who never knew one another. Books break the shackles of time–proof that humans can work magic.” Carl Sagan
Bestsellers are books that have a universal appeal. You must, therefore, write with this in mind. One way to capture the attention of a universal audience is to write hooking opening lines. The introduction of any book goes a long way in ensuring its success. Phrase and rephrase your opening lines in your head several times, until you are sure it’s a hit. In fact, many experts acknowledge the importance of a well-written opening line. The author of MoneyLove, Jerry Gillies, stated that the opening lines of a book decide whether he wants to read it or not.
5. Talk About It.
“You just have to keep talking about it for a long time.” Hal Elrod
Another important way to get your book to sell millions of copies is to continue to talk about it. It takes more than just one book launch to really get your book among the great ones. The first launch might help you sell the first 10,000 copies but not the next 100,000 or 200,000 copies. All-time bestsellers are the books whose authors would not keep quiet about. This has been recommended by authors who have sold over a million of their books, such as Gary Chapman and Hal Elrod.
It’s common knowledge now that one of the best ways to promote your books would be via social media. To help you with that, here’s a Checklist for Promoting Ebooks on Social Media in 2019.
6. Edit Thoroughly.
“So, every time you edit your work, ask yourself, “Is this helping what I’m trying to say, or hurting it?” Jeff Goins
Bestsellers have no or very little grammatical errors and they are edited for clarity. Take time and be patient in ensuring that your book is well-edited. Here are some tips on How to Become an Amazing Self-Editor. It will also do you a whole lot of good to have a third party do the editing instead. These are all before you take it to a professional editor. Bestseller author, Jeff Goins has stated that when editing, writers and editor should focus more on ensuring that the message is communicated clearly than achieving a grammatically perfect essay.
7. Package It Lucratively.
“A book cover is a distillation. It is a haiku of the story.” Chip Kidd
Bestsellers are always well-packaged to ensure that they are sold. From the cover to the design and to the title, the book is packaged to ensure that people not only read the book but also want to share it with others. Get artists to make wonderful designs and ensure that the cover of the book is attractive. The appearance of a book can make people pick it up before they get find out how wonderful the content of the book is. So these are 9 Ebook Cover Tips for Beginners to lend you a hand.
8. Have a Marketing Strategy Beforehand.
“Almost anyone can be an author; the business is to collect money and fame from this state of being.” A. A. Milne
Stephen Key, bestselling author of the One Simple Idea series, explained how making his books available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble two months before they were generally available, helped him sell several thousand copies. Bestsellers are products of not just content but also effective and smart marketing strategies. You could have the best content and still be unable to sell if you do not market well. Make plans to do things such as host giveaways for people who buy (this tactic was also used by Stephen Key). Promotions before the book release is also a good step. But that’s not all, if you’re looking for more inspiration here are 40 Ideas to Market Your Book.
9. Keep It Short.
“Not that the story need be long, but it will take a long while to make it short.” Henry David Thoreau
This can be very difficult advice, especially if you feel you still have so much to write. Many great authors have stated that one of the most important disciplines is to be able to remove a part of the book that they love so much. The main goal was to keep it short and clear for the readers after all. Furthermore, the current flow of writing is for short sentences, not flowery and long-winded ones that people formally cherished. The best writers have mastered how to mix effectively, short sentences with longer ones. You need to do the same to be among them.
10. Spend Time with Writers.
“A good writer possesses not only his own spirit but also the spirit of his friends.” Friedrich Nietzsche
Who we keep company with can influence the success of everything we do. It’s best to associate yourself with other writers, especially those more successful than you. There’s a misconception that writers love being isolated and alone. While it’s true that writers need alone time to get their writing done, they usually have spots of time where they meet and interact with each other.
You only have to create the right environment that will suit your needs. For example, if I want to Rush My Essay, I may isolate myself. But whenever I seek inspiration, I prefer sitting with other writers at the beach. You need to discover what works for you and get yourself a mentor or a friend. One way to get in contact with successful writers is to attend as many writing conferences as you can. From there, you can get to know of writing groups, forums, and associations that will help guide you to be a bestseller.
Writing a book that sells over a million copies and makes it to some of the most prestigious bestsellers lists is almost as prestigious as winning a Nobel Prize. It’s however not as difficult as winning a Nobel Prize. With these tips and a lot of hard work and research, your next book can become a bestseller.