Guide How NOT to Write a Bestseller – An Experts Guide

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Being able to call yourself a bestselling author is just as prestigious, though not nearly as difficult to attain, as being able to call yourself an Academy Award-winning actor, or Nobel Prize winner. In the process of moving from poverty to prosperity, I discovered some truths gathered during thirty years of being a bestselling author and knowing many authors even more successful than me.

So, here are the seven secrets, the concepts, the strategies that produced two million sales for Moneylove. Since all writers need encouragement and praise, it is vital that the people around you can provide these benefits. Particularly, you need to include writers in your circle of friends. And specifically, if possible, writers who are published and more successful than you.

Instead, you hear about how writers are mostly loners and isolated, therefore not available to you for mentoring and support. This is basically a Big Lie. But I luckily stumbled upon the fact that there are bestselling authors hanging out at a lot of specific places, and they are very friendly and approachable at those places. The advantage of getting to know some bestselling authors is that you will discover we are ordinary folk, and you fit in very well when we get together. A bestselling millionaire author would much rather hang out with a beginning writer earning minimum wage as a waiter while writing his or her book than a banking tycoon or multimillionaire builder.

One amazing thing I discovered was that I was treated with the same welcoming energy and respect before I had written my first book as I was when sales of Moneylove started approaching their first million copies. And the lectures and workshops at AHP conventions were fascinating and gave me a lot of material for future books.

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A strategy you might explore is to get in touch with some successful authors and find out whether they attend any of the writers conferences or other professional associations, and, if so, whether they would be willing to meet with you for a chat. Of course, if you have any bestselling authors in your city, you can contact them and ask for a personal interview. As a former newsman, I sometimes used this ploy and just asked a favorite author if I could interview them for a possible article or newsletter.

Now we have blogs to serve that purpose. No matter how rich, famous, and busy a bestselling author is, they will rarely turn down a new writer who wants to spend a few minutes with them. A perfect example of this comes from two of the bestselling authors in human history. They are also two longtime friends of mine, going back over thirty years, before they ever wrote or even thought of the first book in the bestselling series of the 20th century, the Chicken Soup for The Soul series. Mark Victor Hansen and I became friends after he wrote me a wonderful note telling me how much Moneylove had meant to him and had helped him become a prosperity teacher.

They were both impressed with how successful Moneylove was. The Chicken Soup for the Soul books, over of them, which have sold half a billion copies in 47 languages, are collections of short true stories from teachers, workshop leaders, and ordinary people.

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Some of them are funny. Some are sad. But they all have an uplifting message.

I think Jack and Mark would have been astonished, to know two things when we first talked about this first Chicken Soup book: One, how very very successful it would be, making them both millionaires many times over. Two, and maybe even a bigger surprise—they did not start out planning exactly this kind of book, of tales from mostly ordinary people out there. Shortly after meeting Mark Victor Hansen, he invited me as his guest to the annual convention of The National Speakers Association, being held that year in New Orleans.

One of the great benefits of seeing all those great speakers in one place, seeing and hearing their best talks, one after the other over several days, was that we got to hear their best stories. Jack and Mark and I talked about the fact that every speaker had at least one killer story he or she told at the end of their talk.

It was either a funny or inspiring or poignantly moving story, sometimes all three. Jack and Mark took off with this idea as I got involved in other things, mostly traveling and doing workshops overseas. A problem came up that provides a valuable lesson for all authors.

Since many of the most famous and successful speakers had just one powerful closing story they used for audiences all over, year after year, they were reluctant to allow them to be circulated more widely in a book. Also, some of them were the types of stories that had to be heard with an audience to be most effective.

How to Write A Bestseller

Their power and impact might be diminished by appearing in print. So, Jack and Mark dramatically changed their focus. They realized that lots of people had great, moving, funny, inspiring stories. Stories from their own lives. And Chicken Soup for The Soul was born. They also deserve a lot of credit for their persistence and commitment two more qualities any author needs , since that first Chicken Soup book was turned down by about different publishers in the course of a year or so.

Finally, the small Florida-based company, Health Communications, took it on. The rest is truly publishing history. Some valuable lessons for all writers and potential bestselling authors in the experiences of Jack and Mark.

Startup Grind

But I think the most valuable one of all was that they were ready to turn on a dime when circumstances changed. They changed the criteria for the stories in the book itself, and they kept going when many another author would have given up after the first 10 or 50 or rejections.


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I agree with that premise, but do want accentuate the positive truth that you should be talking about what you are doing in your own life. Especially the stuff you plan to include in your book. It had better be quirky or perverse or thoughtful enough so that you hit some chord in them. A lot of the success for me in writing and promoting Moneylove came from the fact that I was already talking about prosperity consciousness before I even pitched the book to a publisher. I had listened to some tapes of a man named Leonard Orr, who had an unusual concept.

He said your attitudes about money itself dictated your financial results. This excited and stimulated my creativity and I went to one of his evening seminars. I started to come up with strategies of my own to put his ideas into action. I had been doing lectures and workshops on communication and relationships. Now I threw in little tidbits about prosperity consciousness, and how I was using it in my own life. People got enthusiastic, got results, and asked for more and the rest is all about the momentum that energy generated. I love the song Happy Talk in the musical, South Pacific.

Especially the opening:. Her literary and speculative fiction has won her over 55 national and international awards, including the prestigious Arthur C. Clarke and Booker awards. Yet every writer starts somewhere.

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When you finish writing a novel, the search for the perfect publisher begins unless you intend to self-publish, in which case you will need a different toolkit. They may want and need you. Go with the one who loves you, not the one with the biggest gold buttons. Some writers self-publish successfully. Take advice. You will find a lot of good practical tips and swear words on www. Sound advice can help you finish your novel, but feedback from other writers is even more valuable. Find a writing group for mutual critique. Many never finish. After you write a few more books, you may become a pretty good writer.

In most cases, the first completed projects of any author or artist or learning how to do anything may be a decent effort but will probably not be considered high quality craftsmanship. You apprentice and practice and develop a skill so that some day you can do it professionally — as in, charge money for it. But authors skip all this. They finish a book and want to get it published.

There are basically two ways to publish a book. You get an advance.

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And you get the respect of being traditionally published. If you want to be traditionally published, good luck!


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You can either continue writing and pitching until you have a great enough book that somebody wants to publish, or you can self-publish. Publishers, like art galleries, want a clean slate — a biography they can work with. No history is sometimes better than an embarrassing showing.

Book Marketing: A Comprehensive Guide To Creating A Bestseller

If you self publish and all your books are poorly produced and sell no copies, the next time you try to pitch a book, the agent or publisher is immediately going to Google you and see all these failed projects, with a few reviews and abysmal sales rank. It might have been better to wait until you get traditionally published.

SO, if you are going to self-publish, you should do everything you can to do it well. Set a goal of 5, copies, and treat your writing and publishing like a business. That means, stop asking for help and support.