Wish: Write a best seller Obstacles: So many...

Tell us your wish, tell us your obstacle, and we'll try to come up with some useful suggestions to help you get into action toward your dream.

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Wish: Write a best seller Obstacles: So many...

Postby bloop5000 » Wed Oct 09, 2019 8:56 pm

Full disclosure, I will soon be a published author. So, I at least got that far.

Also, I love to write. I loved to write before I even knew it.

What I really want is a best-seller that’s on the New York Times list, in Oprah’s book-club, etc. I want that. The, figuratively speaking, my-name-in-lights moment.

My obstacles? In no particular order:
- What do I write about? A Tom Clancyesque cyber-crime thriller that involves powerful nations of the world? A cookbook? A kids’ book? Erotica?
- Who do I work with to get this thing published? I know of only one such publisher and they are interested in a particular niche of books for professionals and nothing else. How do I meet different people that can help me?
- What about an editor? Good writing is rare. Good re-writing is far more prevalent. I will need someone’s invaluable input in this area.

I won’t deny that most of my reasons are purely selfish. I want the advantages that this sort of success brings with it.

I mentioned erotica because whenever I see the top 100 kindle books, at least 40% of the works there are erotica. It’s tempting (financially speaking), but I would want something that I can put my name on it. And I’d prefer to not associate my name with smut (not my cup of tea, unless the money is amazing).

If I’m doing something wrong, then please let me know and I’ll try to correct things as best as I can.
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Re: Wish: Write a best seller Obstacles: So many...

Postby Elaine Glimme » Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:19 am

Hi, Bloop,

As you've probably figured out, writing is easy compared to marketing. If you have a publishing house and and agent behind you, they run most of the marketing. If you're self-publishing, you have to figure all that out. You should have a blog, and be active on Twitter. That's most of what I know. By the way, I'm terrible at marketing.

Here's what Barbara Sher wrote to me a few years back:

Ah, very good! Now we're talking about the right thing. We're in the right arena.
Re having your whole book on your blog, I'd take down most of it and start over (with putting it up on your blog, that is, not writing it.)
First, I'd put up some testimonials by people who've read it. Like me, for instance. "'This is a *good* book!' Barbara Sher, author of [whatever you think is my best known book]
Then a few paragraphs of the beginning. And I'd stop on a tantalizing sentence. "He looked up and couldn't believe his eyes." for instance. Then skip some spaces and say, "It will astonish you. Go to the next blog entry and find out now!"
Then, in the next blog entry I'd put a chunk of the novel, not more than a page or two, and stop at a logical pause, skip some lines and say, "If you're enjoying my novel, click here to get the next chapter, free. Or click here to get the whole thing for 99c. And thank you, dear reader. I hope you'll enjoy the very unusual story you are about to read. And I'd love to read your comments."
Then I'd go to Twitter -- and you'd better stop complaining about Twitter or you'll get an earful from me. It's a lot better than you understand, but even if it weren't, if you want people to read your book, you go to Twitter.
First I'd take the URL of the blog entry and take it to bit.ly and make it short. (Try it. It's easier to do than to explain. For instance, the URL of the page I'm typing on right now is:
posting.php?mode=reply&f=27&t=25313
And after bit.ly, it's only:
http://bit.ly/U1ZRdv
Leaves you more room to say exciting stuff, like:
"He couldn't believe his eyes!" What did Bill see? Look at the opening of my new novel to find out: http://bit.ly/U1ZRdv
You might get a few sarcastic comments, but, for the most part, the only people who will see your comments will be us, because I have a hunch no one is following you.
In fact, *I* might get a few sarcastic comments for suggesting something this obvious. But there are very smart people who do far more:
http://www.copyblogger.com/smart-people-headlines/ (Be sure to click on his '21 Great Headlines from Trashy Tabloids')
Oh, and by the way, start reading ProBlogger, and other blogs about how to get your novel noticed.
Any additional suggestions, fellow amateur marketers?
BarbaraSher


I'd like to support you and cheer you on if you'll do the same for me.

Good luck.

Elaine
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Re: Wish: Write a best seller Obstacles: So many...

Postby bloop5000 » Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:55 am

Yes, marketing. That’s the biggest annoyance for me.

Thank you for your post. I’ll check out the links that you posted.
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Re: Wish: Write a best seller Obstacles: So many...

Postby inspiresuccess » Thu Oct 10, 2019 5:57 pm

Hi Bloop. Welcome to the boards! I'll come back and read your post soon. Elaine is an excellent person for information in your field. I'm glad to see she's already shared some of her expertise. I wish you the best and will chime in with my opinions once I've read your post. Inspire Success
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Re: Wish: Write a best seller Obstacles: So many...

Postby SquarePeg » Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:56 pm

I don't read erotica, but I thought erotica was different from smut in that it's more suggestive and less explicit.

Anyway, I've read every volume of The Diary of Anais Nin, and she occasionally admitted to churning out erotica in order to pay the bills IIRC. Her publisher would complain it was too subtle, though.

But this is your wish, and my wish is that your wish comes true! :)
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Re: Wish: Write a best seller Obstacles: So many...

Postby bloop5000 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:20 am

SquarePeg wrote:I don't read erotica, but I thought erotica was different from smut in that it's more suggestive and less explicit.

Anyway, I've read every volume of The Diary of Anais Nin, and she occasionally admitted to churning out erotica in order to pay the bills IIRC. Her publisher would complain it was too subtle, though.

But this is your wish, and my wish is that your wish comes true! :)

Ok, didn’t know of that difference. Thanks for that bit.
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Re: Wish: Write a best seller Obstacles: So many...

Postby bloop5000 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:21 am

inspiresuccess wrote:Hi Bloop. Welcome to the boards! I'll come back and read your post soon. Elaine is an excellent person for information in your field. I'm glad to see she's already shared some of her expertise. I wish you the best and will chime in with my opinions once I've read your post. Inspire Success

Looking forward to your reply :)
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Re: Wish: Write a best seller Obstacles: So many...

Postby Elaine Glimme » Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:53 pm

Hi, Bloop,

Wishing you good things.

If you read any of my posts in success stories, you know that the agent I really wanted rejected me. So my marketing plan for the moment is to query the rest of the agents on my list and then go on to self-publishing.

I don't like twitter, but I'm going to try reading the tweets I get just to get an idea of what I could do.
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Re: Wish: Write a best seller Obstacles: So many...

Postby Elaine Glimme » Wed Oct 16, 2019 11:53 pm

p.s. There are companies that will help you with marketing for a fee. It's usually about two thousand dollars. Too steep for me.
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Re: Wish: Write a best seller Obstacles: So many...

Postby inspiresuccess » Sun Oct 20, 2019 6:55 pm

bloop5000 wrote:Full disclosure, I will soon be a published author. So, I at least got that far.


Excellent! Tells us all about this! Full disclosure, full details! This will give us an idea of what your experience has been so far.

I think what's really important is that you've identified that you want to be successful in a very specific way. That helps a lot. You want to be on the New York Times Best Seller list. You want to be on Oprah's book club list. Anything else that is very specific like this? How do you feel about being in the spotlight yourself? Authors on the Times list all do extensive selling of themselves. Would it be fun to be interviewed on radio and TV and the internet (I'm not an internet person so I don't know where on YouTube or whatever you would be interviewed). To be on the lists you want to be on you have to love being in the spotlight. Would that be fun? Some people who are famous HATE this kind of stuff but they do it because they know they have to. If it wouldn't be fun, how tough are you about being willing to do ANYTHING to reach your goal?

I'm reminded of a story I think from Wishcraft where Barbara tells the story of 2 different women who both wanted to be actresses. One really wanted to focus on her craft and didn't care all that much about success. The 2nd one really wanted to be famous and didn't really care a lot about being a really fine actor. I'll see if I can find the story and let you know where to find it in the book. The point is that Barbara approached their goals in a completely opposite way. The baby steps towards the end goal were completely different because their actual goals of being an actress were very different.

I'm off to check out Wishcraft for you.
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Re: Wish: Write a best seller Obstacles: So many...

Postby inspiresuccess » Sun Oct 20, 2019 7:03 pm

Here's a challenge for you.

Best Seller List. Get the list and list what types of books are there -- how many fiction, how many non-fiction, etc. Analyze. Find out specifically who gets on these lists and what types of books do they write. That's going to give you the answer to what usually gets on the list. Same thing with Oprah's lists. Don't just stick to this years lists. Get the past 3 years to compare.

You mentioned erotica. That's not going to get you "up in lights" like you want, so I'd skip that for now.

Are you non-fiction or fiction? Are you willing to write either? CAN you write either?

This is going to be fun! I love helping people with this stuff.
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Re: Wish: Write a best seller Obstacles: So many...

Postby inspiresuccess » Sun Oct 20, 2019 7:10 pm

Couldn't find the story in Wishcraft but I remember it and can apply it here for you. Skimming through it reminds me again of what an amazing book it is. I need to reread it for myself. Have you read it? How did you find out about Barbara Sher?
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Re: Wish: Write a best seller Obstacles: So many...

Postby Elaine Glimme » Thu Oct 24, 2019 10:58 am

Hi, Bloop,

There are other companies that can help you self-publish. Here are the ones I know of.

Path to Publishing ptp@bookpassages.com initial meeting $250 and there will be charges for anything they do along the way.

Alive book publishing

Lulu Press

There are others, and if the internet finds out that you want to self-publish, you'll get plenty of e-mails offering to help you.

Good luck!
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Re: Wish: Write a best seller Obstacles: So many...

Postby SquarePeg » Fri Oct 25, 2019 8:16 pm

I don't see where Bloop has asked about how to get published. In fact, I think the poster is already in the process of having something published.

The wish is to be a best selling author. Have any self-published books become best sellers I wonder? I think it's the publishers who are more responsible than the authors for what gets on the Best Sellers List.
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