by Christen Jeschke
Recently a book that I ghostwrote soared to the top of the Amazon charts, ranking in the top one hundred of all books on Amazon and becoming #1 in multiple, highly competitive categories. Our office became instantly inundated with authors and potential authors, wondering how we could replicate that success for them. Truth be told, there is no secret magic formula for creating a best-seller, or every publishing company would be doing it. The recipe for best-selling success requires hard work, diligence, persistence, and patient investment over time. Sounds daunting? It is not as difficult as it seems.
In a world where everyone seems focused on hoping for one viral moment or accomplishment, the true formula for literary success is often forgotten. The fact remains that a book is only as good as its writing. It doesn’t matter how celebrated an author is professionally or how much money is spent on publicizing their product; if a book is not well written, it will ultimately fail. A book by a well-known hero or influencer may garner a rush of attention, but negative reviews will eventually doom it if it is poorly crafted. Every author should aspire to write a book that will be passed from reader to reader, drawing people in with each page.
Here are three easy steps that you can pursue to becoming a successful writer:
To become a better writer, become a better reader. In order to write an excellent book, you need to immerse yourself in reading high caliber books. If you have read only a handful of books, then your frame of reference for what makes a good book is very limited. Broaden your scope by reading best-sellers, reading recommendations from friends, and, most importantly, reading books that are successful in the genre in which you aspire to write. Reading other books is one of the best educational tools for those who desire to write quality and engaging material.
Study the craft of writing and the cadence of storytelling. A professional writer can take a list of facts, breathe life into it, and turn it into a captivating tale that enraptures the reader. How do they do this? They know that every story has a structure, rhythm, and design that is best suited to deliver the message in a way that grabs the reader. There are many fabulous resources available online that teach you how to construct the most robust framework for your writing genre. With research and practice, you can learn the art of creating a compelling manuscript.
Excellent writing is a skill that requires investment. If you desire a high-quality portrait that was to be passed down in your family for generations to come, would you snap it yourself on a cell phone, or would you hire a professional to expertly arrange, edit, and produce your photo session? The obvious answer is that you would hire a professional who is trained with the knowledge and skills needed to make your vision a reality. The same is true in publishing. As a writer, you must develop the mastery that it takes to write an excellent manuscript while pairing with a publisher who can package, edit, and position your book for the maximum chance at success. Pursue a publisher that will collaborate with you, advise you, and partner with you to produce the best book possible.
These practices, in combination, will give your book the strongest chance to sell well. Using these simple steps, I have helped many first time authors achieve best-selling success, guiding and shaping their manuscripts through the publishing process. Keep reading, writing, collaborating, and growing. Your story needs to be told!