The Amazon Kindle has changed the game. Not only can you download novels and books to read on the go, but you can also get your hands on some of the best sellers of all time. Now is the perfect time to cash in on the trend and become a bestselling author.
Get To The Heart Of The Matter
When you’re pitching your idea to potential publishers or book agents, the first thing they will ask is, “And what is the book about?” You’ve got 30 seconds to sell them on your idea, and that means you need to get to the heart of the matter asap. As the old adage goes, “You can’t please all of the people all of the time,” but you can definitely please the people most of the time if you nail your core idea. With the right book, you can definitely make someone’s day. Just ask the author of the best-selling A Tale of Two Cities.
When it comes to creating a bestseller, it’s all about the story. The question is: How do I write a story that will captivate readers, especially given that I’ve never done so much as written a high school newspaper? Luckily, the answer is simpler than it seems. All I had to do was follow these 6 steps.
1. Come Up With A Unique Twist
No matter what category you’re in, there is always someone else doing something similar. To create a bestseller, you need to come up with a unique twist. A twist that will make your story stand out, but more importantly, make the reader want to turn the page. To get started, simply type ‘the’ + your keyword + ‘idea’ into the Amazon search field. For example, if we were to enter ‘the idea of a blog’, we would find several blogs that touch on this subject. While it’s important to note that not all of these blogs will become bestsellers, you can see that they all have one thing in common – they used a unique idea that made the reader interested in more.
2. Customize Your Page
Blogs and websites aren’t the only things that need to be optimized for SEO and to make a good impression on potential buyers. The Amazon Kindle format itself is also quite limiting when it comes to the amount of content you can include. Fortunately, there is an easy way to get around this issue. One of the things that made A Tale of Two Cities a bestseller is that it was such a page-turner. The author built a strong narrative that drew the reader into the story and kept them turning the pages long into the night. To achieve a similar effect, you need to use the page structure wisely. Start by brainstorming the big picture – the general flow of the story, the arc of the characters, and so on. Then, break this down into chunks – the scene by scene structure (with chapter breaks as necessary). Finally, put yourself in the shoes of a reader. What will keep them engaged? What will make them want to read to the end?
3. Choose Your Main Character
Who is going to drive the story forward? Is it a businesswoman who gets her hands on some powerful tools? An investigative journalist who uncovers a huge scandal? A novelist who becomes convinced that they are writing in vain? All of these characters are intriguing, but they need to represent your unique voice, your perspective as the storyteller. To make this character stand out, give them a unique quirk or eccentricity that will make them memorable. For example, the reporter Bob Woodward is famous for asking the tough questions and digging for the truth. But he is also a very friendly guy, and this quality makes him unforgettable. If you want to bring a friendly, neighborhood bookstore clerk to life, you can’t go wrong with Donald Bradshaw. As you develop your idea and flesh out your characters, try to keep a balance between male and female stereotypes. It’s all about having characters that readers will genuinely care about.
4. Choose A Setting
Where do you set the story? The trick here is to think about the kind of scene you’ll need and the kind of atmosphere you want to evoke. Let’s keep the example of A Tale of Two Cities in mind. The book is set in the 19th century, but for the author, bringing this time period to life was more important than being historically accurate; he wanted the reader to see themselves in the story. To achieve this, he had to transport them to Paris, where they can experience what it was like to be in that era. To make the setting livelier, you need to consider the place where you’re going to stage the events of your story. It should be somewhere both historic and striking. If you want to write an adventure story, you could set it in the jungle or on an ocean liner. Whatever you do, make sure that you research the right way so that you can bring the era to life.
5. Research The Period Of Time
Depending on how much research you’ve done so far, this step should be relatively easy. By now, you should have a good understanding of what is entailed in creating a bestselling book. From the overall structure and premise of your story to the characters and the setting, everything should be designed to appeal to a wide audience, especially given that you’ve never done so much as written a high school newspaper. To nail this aspect of your project, simply type ‘the [time period]’ + your keyword into the Amazon search field. For example, if we type in ‘1950s’, we will find several novels that take place during this time period. While this information will certainly help you to shape your story, it shouldn’t be the end-all be-all. It takes more than a perfect setting and killer characters to make a book a bestseller. You need to pour your heart and soul into your project, and that means creating something that is bigger, more ambitious, and more engaging than anything you’ve ever done before.
6. Make Some Money
Nowadays, the success of a writer, especially a debutante, can be measured by the dollar signs they make. If you want to write a bestselling book, you need to make some money. Luckily, there are several ways to do this. You can partner with a publisher to get your book printed and to arrange for distribution. You can look into self-publishing through Amazon Kindle Direct or go the traditional route and find a literary agent. Whatever you do, make sure that you are not only becoming a successful author, but also that you are doing so in the most independent, creative, and self-sufficient manner possible. If you want to learn more, here are several articles, blog posts, and books that can help you along the way.