Oh here you are again, are you early or am I late? Yes it’s probably me, been such a busy day what with buying wallpaper, gardening and bathing the dog! Who called Sunday the day of rest?!
Still, it’s lovely to see you once more. Three weeks in a row? People will start talking. I don’t suppose you’ve brought the biscuits this time? No? Down to me again then… well I suppose I did invite you around here. Sit yourself down then and get comfy.
So you want to know the secrets to writing a best selling book? You want to see your work at No1 on the top sellers list and your titles instantly recognisable?
You and millions of other people I’m afraid (me included!)
What are the secrets of getting the coveted top spot, how do those lucky few reach the heights of JK Rowling or Stephen King? What do they know that we don’t? What is that special ingredient that they discovered that still eludes the rest of us?
Well the truth is I don’t know. Let’s face it, if I did then I wouldn’t be sat here typing up a blog post, I would be busy writing my next block buster. I do, however, know a few things that might be worth considering before you set out on the path of wannabe author.
1. Why are you writing? If your sole aim in writing a book is to make your millions then just put down your pen (or put aside your keyboard) and find yourself another get rich quick scheme because this is not it. Very few are ever going to get “discovered”, to become an overnight success and be the name on everyone’s lips. As wonderful as that dream might be, however well you think YOUR book would translate into a Hollywood blockbuster the chances are that movie will only ever be playing in your imagination.
On the other hand if you are writing because you have a story to tell or if you enjoy writing for its own sake then go for it. True your book might never end up in the hands of millions of people, but if it even gets a few reads then than can be enough, sometimes just one or two people saying “I enjoyed that” makes all the hard work worthwhile.
2. What are you writing? What is this story you’ve decided to commit to paper? Is it a tale that you have nurtured in your imagination for a while, the story you’ve always wanted to tell, a story that matters to you? Or is it something that you think people will want to read and will make some sales? While there is nothing in writing in a genre that people enjoy, there is no problem writing something that you know has an audience, that shouldn’t be your only motivation. If you plan to pour your heart and soul into a book then you owe it to yourself to be true to what YOU want to write. Write what it is you have always wanted to write and, if you write it well, then there will be someone else out there who loves it as much as you do, even if it takes a while to find them. Who cares if your story is of a cheerleader in love with a flesh eating zombie? Just go for it, you never know that could just be THE story the world has been waiting for.
3. How will anyone ever know? The truth of the matter is, for most of us and especially those who are going along the self-publishing route, writing the book is the easy part. Even getting published can be a doddle these days what with all the self publishing options and the websites and what-not out there helping you format your manuscript into the finished product. Then what? If you think that is the end of your work you are sadly mistaken, producing the book is only the beginning, then comes the real work. Unless you already have a big following from a blog or twitter or similar how is anyone ever going to find out you even exist never mind that you wrote a book? Yes I expect your family and friends will help out and buy a copy, maybe even leave you a good review but to the rest of the world you are still an unknown.
Think about what you would do if you fancied a new read. Even if you fancy trying something new and unknown just have a quick look on Amazon at your preferred genre and see how many thousands of books there are to choose from. It really is a needle in a haystack situation, and it’s not easy standing out in the crowd. I personally rather like the Kindle Direct Publishing free promotion plan. Yes you do have to agree not to sell your book anywhere else but hey, it’s not selling anyway right? I honestly believe that a reader is more likely to give a new author a chance if they get to read that first book either very cheaply or, better still, for free. In fact I discovered one of my now favourite authors that very way. One book on free promotion appealed to me and after reading it I quickly went back and purchased all of his other works.
Being free of course might still not be enough – you have to get your name out there somehow – by blogging, tweeting, facebooking, all of these social media avenues are available to us so why not use them? They can be all be put to better use than chatting with friends or sharing cute pictures of kittens – not that there is anything wrong with doing that but maybe keep it to a separate personal account, you are trying to sell a product after all, even if that product is you.
After reading this do you know how to write a best selling book? No of course you don’t. There is no short cut or sure fire way of achieving that dream but simply like anything and everything else in life if you want to get the results you have to put in the work.
At the end of the day you may sell a few copies, you may sell a million copies, you may just be lucky enough to grab peoples attention and fulfil your dreams. You won’t, however, do any of that unless you actually TRY.
You want to write a best selling book? Then give it a go and you might just make it!
Bearing all that in mind, if you fancy helping me out in getting maybe one step closer to MY dream of the best selling novel how about popping over to Amazon to grab a copy of my first publication Assaie’s Gift… hey if I don’t ask 😉