Making the Best Seller List

thLike most writers I know, i’d love to see my name on the Best Seller list. We work hard to make our stories interesting and compelling. We find our voice and create plots with amazing characters (at least to us) who inhabit terrific settings. Stories we hope will rack up the sales and offer us fame and fortune so that one day, our names will be on The List.

In an interview with Sophie Kinsella, author of the Shopaholic series,the BBC News Entertainment and Arts section listed the author’s Ten Tips for being a Best Selling Author. From starting a story and getting to the end to finding an agent, her advice can help with navigating the road to that elusive Best Seller list.

What about you? Any tips you’d like to share?

10 thoughts on “Making the Best Seller List

  1. Thanks, Cathi, I like the carrying a notepad around to write down quotes from people in conversation.

    Although the list suggests that you map out your story before you write it, I never do, neither do many famous writers such as Joyce Carol Oates, my books are organic we grow together, my characters and I. Also, having an agent can be great if you get the right one, often you’re the last one on the totem pole and it’s best to be your own agent and head straight to the publishers, and then down the road, maybe get an agent.

  2. Those tips aren’t really for being a best-selling author, they’re for writing a good book, IMHO. I do everything I can to promote every book I write, but when my last one became a national best-seller (pen name Janet Cantrell), it wasn’t due to anything I did. It was the fact that it came out with a huge publisher to a huge market, plus it has an awesome cover (not my doing). Of course, before all that, I did try to write the best book I could.

  3. Dot, I’m also a ‘pantser’ and find I add as I go. You never know when you’ll read, hear or see something you can use.

    Leigh, You’re right about doing it, not just knowing it.

  4. Cathi, I think Kinsella makes some good points (though the only thing a cocktail has ever inspired me to do is take a nap.) Like Kaye, I think our focus should be writing a good book.

  5. I just took a quick peek at the list. The only two that appeal to me are: Write the book you want to read and Don’t talk about what you write.

  6. People can offer what worked for them, and some of them may click for others, but it’s all pretty personal in the end. However, I think her advice on really finding and concentrating on what you, uniquely offer through a story is solid, and I wish you all to be bestsellers.
    She doesn’t mention at all the value of having loads of pals who are talented and successful and upon whose coattails you can coast, but that leaves me an article to myself!

  7. Terrie, Definitely agree about writing the book you want to write. Just sometimes, I find it helpful to talk about what I’m working on–usually with friends who are readers rather than writers. I can see if the idea resonates with them.

    Clare How right you are about having talented pals who inspire you. I’d love to read an article from you on that subject.

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