NSW Writers’ Centre. One panel had four successful authors and they discussed how to write a bestseller. On the panel were Jaqueline Harvey, Sophie Masson, Aleesah Darlinson and Dianne Bates.
What is a bestseller?
The concept of what a bestseller is varies between countries and publishing houses. In Australia if we sell only 8000 books it’s considered a bestseller. In the USA 100 000 would be a bestseller, however some publishing houses would call as few as 15-20k a bestseller. It used to be considered a bestseller if you sold a number of copies equal to 1% of the population, but that’s no longer the case.
They made another interesting point. The New York Bestseller List can be deceiving because it doesn’t list sales over time. It covers velocity of sales. If a title sells fast when it first comes out, then it will rise on this list, but this doesn’t mean it will become a bestseller because those sales could drop off just as quickly.
How to Write a Bestseller
The authors on the panel discussed these points:
1. Finish writing the book. It won’t sell if it’s not finished.
2. There is no formula. Often a bestseller comes as a surprise to everyone.
3. Despite this, study the market and know the intended audience.
4. Learn to self edit
5. Join workshops and critique groups
6. Make your characters real and interesting
7. Read awarded books and bestsellers.
What do you think makes a bestseller?
Thanks: last week I received a Stylish Blogger Award from Maeve at Lollipop’s Cottage. Thanks so much.