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Named to "Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites," this #SharingwithWriters blog is a way to connect with my readers and fellow writers, a way to give the teaching genes that populate my DNA free rein. Please join the conversation using the very tiny "comment" link. For those interested in editing and grammar, go to http://thefrugaleditor.blogspot.com.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Valerie Allen Shares What Makes a Book a Best Seller?

Ta da! Today's guest blogger reveals best seller secrets from he own publishing experience and watching the successes of authors she knows--and she knows a lot of them from the many Florida conferences and book fairs she directs!  And she makes it easy for busy writers with her rat-a-tat bullets that stick without taking notes! 

Best Sellers: Traits in Common

by Valerie Allen

Ever wonder what makes a Best Seller a Best Seller? Is there a magic formula lurking somewhere? Is there a conspiracy on the electronic highway? Who's hiding the mojo? I'm not sure of the answer to any of these questions, but after reading many best sellers and reading books and articles about best sellers, I've come across some specific details they seem to have in common. As an author of many books and short stories, I frequently peruse this list in my eternal quest to write a Best Seller.

Common Traits in Best Selling Books:

• Have shorter sentences

• Use simple vocabulary

• Use contractions

• Write in third person

• Have female protagonists

• Have “The” in the title

• “Wife” is better than “husband” in the title

• Fiction sells better than nonfiction

• Most nonfiction is written by men

• Journalistic style writing appeals to most people

• Books incorporating disabilities gain more attention

• Covers with black, gold, and red sell best

• Launch in months without holidays

• Focus on one theme in a novel

• The most popular themes focus on marriage, death, and medical

Also important to know:

• Contemporary novels sell best

• Romance books have the overall best sales

• Thrillers are second in overall sales

• Ebooks make up about 30% of sales

Although, not based on scientific research, this information is from my own musings, observations, and information gleaned from successful best selling writers!

Valerie Allen, psychologist and author, writes fiction, nonfiction, short stories, and children's books. She is the Director of Authors for Authors and has served in the Cape Canaveral Branch of the National League of American Pen Women, and the Space Coast Writers' Guild. She lives in warm and sunny Florida where she has raised six children, from whom she has learned many things about life and love! She is always eager to hear from authors at VAllenWriter@gmail.com. More information can be found at AuthorsForAuthors.com. Her work can be found at Amazon.com/author/valerieallen. The photograph is from one of the several events Valerie directs each year in Florida. 


 Howard-Johnson is the multi award-wining author of fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. She is also a marketing consultant, editor, and author of the multi award-winning HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers including the multi award-winning The Frugal Book Promoter (http://bit.ly/FrugalBookPromoIII), now offered by Modern History Press in its third edition. Carolyn's latest is in the #HowToDoItFrugally Series of books for writers is How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically. Learn more on her Amazon profile page (http://bit.ly/CarolynsAmznProfile). Great Little Last Minute Editing Tips for Writers (http://bit.ly/Last-MinuteEditsII) is one of her booklets--perfect for inexpensive gift giving--and, another booklet, The Great First Impression Book Proposal (http://bit.ly/BookProposalsII) helps writers who want to be traditionally published. The Frugal Editor (http://bit.ly/FrugalEditor), now in its second edition, is the winningest book in the series. Carolyn also has three frugal books for retailers including one she encourages authors to read because it will help them convince retailers to host their workshops, presentations, and signings. It is A Retailer’s Guide to Frugal In-Store Promotions: How To Increase Profits and Spit in the Eyes of Economic Downturns with Thrifty Events and Sales Techniques (http://bit.ly/RetailersGuide). In addition to this blog, Carolyn helps writers extend the exposure of their favorite reviews at TheNewBookReview.blogspot.com. She also blogs at all things editing--grammar, formatting and more--at The Frugal, Smart, and Tuned-In Editor (http://TheFrugalEditor.blogspot.com)

The photo below is me celebrating the release of the second edition of my Great Little Last-Minute Editing Tips for Writers published by Modern History Press. It is in presale mode on Amazon at bit.ly/LastMinuteEditsII with a release date of 9/1/20, your choice, paper, hard cover or e-book.  

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Carolyn! I always enjoy sharing words of wisdom with you and your readers ~


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