Useful Tips

How to write a bestseller - a review of the rules, features and recommendations


Many aspiring writers dream of writing a book that will become a bestseller. This book can make you famous, illustrious, and highly paid. Just because you haven't written a bestseller does not necessarily mean that you have no talent. There are special tricks for writing a bestseller, and they are not always inextricably linked with the personality of the writer, for example, with his ability to guess fashion and give himself completely to writing, in order to then allow editors to bring the book into good shape. If you have enough willpower, why not try writing a best seller? Anything can happen.

Numbers, numbers, numbers.

It is quite possible to write a bestseller, like any other work, the main thing is to understand how one differs from the other. The word "best seller" comes from the English language, in literal translation it means "best selling." That is, it is a book that sells very well. Further it is quite logical to ask what the circulation should be. Much depends on a part of the world. For example, in Europe, a book that is bought with a circulation of 5 thousand copies per week is considered a bestseller, while in America this figure is exactly twice as much. Contrary to prevailing stereotypes - these figures are not so big.

However, it is worth distinguishing between such concepts as “country” and “world” bestsellers. Country best-sellers are books that are sold within one country in an amount of over 50 thousand copies for the entire time. World bestsellers are publications that are sold in the amount of 500 thousand copies for all time, and translated into different languages.

If you look, the numbers are not that big. However, there are works that have left this bar far below. For example, Dan Brown’s sensational novel “Da Vinci Code”. Surely, everyone read this book or watched the movie of the same name. As statistics show, from the day the work was released into the world until today, over 90 million copies have been sold.

Although this figure is nothing compared to the unsurpassed Agatha Christie. Her works have been translated into 44 languages, and sold over 2 billion copies. That's what the "best seller in a million" means. How to write such a work? Do not hide the fact that such books are very rare, but it is quite possible to bring your works to such a level.

Typical bureaucracy

So how to write a best seller? Publishers unanimously reiterate that a book can become a bestseller itself, or it can be done like that, since it itself becomes quite rare. For a work to become such, all circumstances must coincide: demand, genius of the creator, audience, style of storytelling, etc. It is impossible to predict everything, so the most common method of creating a bestseller is artificial. Simply put, a publisher makes a bestseller from a work. If some publisher likes the book, he will not spare money for its promotion. And if everything goes according to plan, then the work turns into a bestseller.

How to write a best seller? Everything is simple! You need to choose a popular topic, which will be such in the next few years. The target audience should be mass (since it is difficult to turn into a bestseller a book about the life of a little-known artist). Plus a beautiful, interesting, concise spelling and some distinctive characteristic that is absent in other similar works. In fact, this is all that is required of the author. It’s good if the novice writer is not a notorious person, and the rest depends on the publisher who will promote the book. The following processes are usually used for this process:

  1. Advertising in the media.
  2. Promotions.
  3. Publications of critics.
  4. Background advertising on billboards and in public places.

Well, if a film is made on the book, then sales are definitely guaranteed. Based on all of the above, to write a bestseller, somehow the author needs to join the masses. Therefore, he needs:

  • To study the market, identify the most popular genre and work in it.
  • Reveal a topic that excites potential readers.
  • Writing deeply, easily and beautifully.
  • Come up with something that has not yet been in any work.

Actually, writing and publishing your best-selling book, as described above, is not so difficult. But is that enough? On the one hand, from the point of view of publishing, quite. But on the other hand, will the author himself be satisfied if, for the sake of fame, he will have to work in a genre that he does not like. By no means, any self-respecting author will begin to change the genre qualification, especially if the proposed work is in an area with which the writer is completely unfamiliar.

If you write the book correctly, as a bestseller it can take place, even if we are talking about a biography of an unknown person. It is good if the author is able to catch current trends, but it is important to have literary talent and a desire to open the door to the reader in another world.

Sentences with the word "best seller":

Look at the books whose titles are first on the list. best sellers, - many of them are devoted to self-knowledge and gaining personal freedom.

He is the author best seller "A book about self-power."

Eight years later, this book not only became national best seller, but also transformed into a whole series with a total circulation of more than a million copies.

Tips from George Martin

So how to write a best seller? The master class is given by George Martin. He shares tips to help a novice writer create a true masterpiece.

The first thing to do is to create a notebook for ideas. Otherwise, how can a novice author write a bestseller if his thoughts keep getting confused, changing, and the most worthy appear and are forgotten instantly. It is not necessary to realize everything that was conceived, it’s okay if some characters live on the pages of a notebook for decades, one day they will also play a role in history.

Second, it is important to understand that bad days are inevitable. It happens when a page is written page by page, but it happens - even a sentence cannot be drawn up. This is normal. The main thing is not to force yourself, but to distract from everything and relax.

Effective advice

Third, bring it to the end. Surely, every novice writer has stories that began, but never ended. Nobody argues that on paper everything does not look as exciting as in the head. Usually the author writes 5-10 pages and understands that this is not quite a masterpiece. He has another idea, which seems to be much more interesting than the story he has begun, and he puts off the unfinished story in a long box. And then everything repeats again. Robert Heinlein should borrow one effective advice on how to write a bestseller - always finish what you started. Yes, maybe the story is not as brilliant as we would like, but the author will be able to see his mistakes, shortcomings and write better next time.

A bestseller is not a spontaneous work of a genius, first of all, it is many years of practice and hard work.

Literature is not cooking

The good thing about literature is that it is not limited by budget. The author can create on paper any kind of world, as many special effects and thousands of characters. This is its main advantage. But most importantly, in literature there cannot be rules imposed by someone. This is another piece of advice for writers on how to write a bestseller, because you don’t have to follow someone else’s rules. Literature is not cooking where you need to follow a recipe.

Now you can find many publications and even books with information on how to write correctly. Should you rely on them? Most probably not. Yes, there you can find some useful tips for beginning writers, but basically, each author of such a publication describes his own experience in creating books. And if a novice writer cannot adhere to such advice, he does not need them.

Plot and plan

In order to write a bestseller correctly, somehow you need to structure the information. To begin with, in general terms, it is worth considering the basis of the plot. Some authors take real historical events as a basis and move them into the fantasy world. Add a few orcs, trolls, dragons and evil witches - done. Masterpiece! But seriously speaking, relying on the history of medieval Europe, it is really possible to create something amazing. At that time, the world was much more diverse than it is now: wars, revolutions, intrigues, palace coups. It is even interesting to track in historical folios how science and culture developed, how alchemy turned into chemistry, and a poem accidentally invented by some peasant became an object of cultural heritage.

In those days, it was difficult to travel, so there were tribes and nationalities outside the borders of the countries that led a fairly distinctive lifestyle, and at the same time they never crossed.

You can take any story as the basis of the future bestseller, the main thing is that this base be solid.

The second is a work plan. Many writers advise to write a detailed (or sample) plan before starting to write a book. For example, what will be the first chapter, the second, etc. It cannot be said that they are wrong - this advice really helps many writers. But there are times when it all starts with one scene or image that is firmly embedded in the imagination of the writer. He decides to transfer them to paper, just like an ordinary literary sketch. But it is worth this lonely fantasy embodied on paper, as it begins to demand more. An addition appears, then one more and a little more. The author does not have time to look around, as he already has several full-fledged chapters on his hands. This is how simple ideas turn into books, overgrown with unintentional fantasies and conjectures.

So you can start writing without a plan, but there must be no basis and idea - without it.

“Dear reader!”

Stephen King and George Martin use one interesting trick in their work - repeating phrases. For example, when one hero reminds another of something constantly. The reader is terribly annoying, but at the same time spurs interest. The fact is that this approach makes the work more realistic. Well, what kind of person will not remind his friend of his mistakes? Therefore, these authors are read, as they see themselves in the heroes. We will return to the question of realism.

Another good piece of advice on how to write a bestseller is the author’s attitude towards the reader. No need to try to please him - this is an unforgivable mistake. Firstly, the dissatisfied will still remain, and secondly, it is possible to spoil the whole work, and it certainly will not become a bestseller. Of course, you should not scare readers, but there is no place for art in democracy. This is a story of a writer, and if some reader does not like it, then he has every right not to read it.

In general, the reader must be in touch with the book on an emotional level. He should really get carried away with the book, and if some terrible moments are described, then the reader should be afraid. Yes, many books are written in such a way where the reader is absolutely clear that no matter where the hero goes, nothing will happen to him, he is a hero. Among these books, there are also many bestsellers.

But you can go all-in and emphasize that everyone can die. This is not about the fact that the main character must die, but rather about the fact that he cannot save everyone, does not always have time on time, is too weak in some circumstances, because of which those who are dear to him die. For example, Joan Rowling did this: she did not spare Sirius Black (godfather Harry), nor Dumbledore, nor one of the Weasley twins. The main character survived, the world is saved, but at what cost.

A fictional story must be strong. The reader may not agree with the disappearance of a character, but he cannot do anything with this, which is why such books are remembered.

Talent and Realism

So how to write a best seller? Literary talent in this matter plays not the last role. It is difficult to say whether they are born with it or this quality is acquired, but one thing is certain - all writers used to be avid readers. Therefore, they can confidently say which books they want to read - unpredictable. Readers do not want to know what will happen at the next moment and how the story will end, just starting to read it. This is another good tip for anyone trying to create a best seller.

And it is also very important, as already mentioned, to maintain the realism of the work. Take, for example, the genre of fantasy and magic. As an example, we can consider Tolkien's work “The Lord of the Rings” (hardly anyone knows about him). Here the world itself is fantastic and unusual, in which amazing miracles are not uncommon, but there is very little magic in the world. Here Gandalf does not cast spells and does not throw fireballs at every turn, and when it comes to battles, he simply draws his sword.

Of course, he can create fireworks, and his staff glows in the dark, but these are all trifles. The same magic rings: the strongest of them can make a person invisible. However, the reader understands that great power is hidden in the ring itself and everything is not so simple with it, its powers are mysterious and incomprehensible (otherwise Frodo could put it on and command the Nazguls, and the story would end there).

In bad fantasy, one common mistake can often be found - too powerful magic. There are witches and sorcerers who can destroy half a country or a continent with one wave of their hands, but for some reason there is an army. But the authors do not think about the consequences. Powerful magicians obey kings and lords, lead armies to other kingdoms.

Moreover, there are other inconsistencies in the books. For example, many fantasy writers borrow class divisions that were in the Middle Ages. Only they do not quite understand what was behind this class inequality. For example, they can write how a simple peasant woman rejects the handsome prince. But in reality, the handsome prince would not have tolerated such behavior, but simply would have shackled the obstinate girl in the shoes and put on public display. It’s just that people were raised from birth so that they knew their place — that’s what stood behind class inequality, and if weave it into the plot, then this feature must be taken into account, otherwise you won’t become a bestseller.

What you like

So how to write a best seller? In the review of the rules, a lot of tips and examples were given that will help to create a real masterpiece, only the basic rule for writing bestsellers was not mentioned. You always need to do what you like. And if you like to write biographies or historical novels, do not change your qualifications, the main thing is the quality of work, the reliability of facts and love for your work. It also takes a little courage to publish, and a bit of insanity to make the plot original and unique. Actually, this is the best seller.