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Do you want to write a Best-seller (Part 2)

In the first installment of this essay, we said that if you want to excel as a writer, you would not only have to write on a best-selling topic, but that you would also have to master your style, and ...

In the first installment of this essay, we said that if you want to excel as a writer, you would not only have to write on a best-selling topic, but that you would also have to master your style, and know your audience. But that is not all. What is more?

Write your Style

A writer said: “All authors are like mounds of literature. They grow from the light of the ancient.” But is true that all writers are copycats?

Not really. You might have a favorite author, or another writer would have influenced your work. But one thing is clear: no one in this universe is your equal. You are unique.

That means your writing style has to be different from mine. It is for this reason that an editor at Random House who saw a typed copy of The Thirty-Nine Steps as a new book had no difficulty in likening it to the style of Jerzy Kosinski. But sad enough, he didn’t know it really was the author’s book.

When you speak in a foreign voice, a discerning listener would have no difficulty recognizing you as a hypocrite. In the same way, when you borrow another author’s style, a good reader will equally know that you are masquerading. And that is not good enough for you.

Promote your book before and after publication

The best time to begin your book’s promotion is when you start writing it. This is the right time for you to make use of some of the promotional options discussed earlier in this book. This means that you can start your media adverts, book reviews, and the serialization of your story. Then keep record of contacts from readers and bookstore owners who are interested in your work. Send them a press release as soon as your book is released and see the response that you will get.

This book that you are reading started that way when it was first published as an e-book. When the author contacted his initial list of potential buyers after the book’s release, he had tremendous response. Why don’t you do the same? If it worked for him, it will work for you.
Pre-release publicity has helped writers sell tremendously when their books were made available to the public. For instance, Tom Wolfe's book, A Man In Full sold over a million copies before anyone could say Jack Robinson.

But do not just promote your book. HYPE IT! That is what they all do. Let them know that your book is the greatest thing to happen in the world in this millennium. Tell them that your work will make writers like Tom Clancy, John Grisham, Tom Wolfe, Salman Rushdie, and J.K. Rowling look like Lilliputians. You won't be docked for perjury.

The fact is that people will believe anything as much as they hear it often. Ask advertisers. And then on the date of your book's release, readers will queue up before book stores to behold the Brobdingnagian of English literature.

Time your book's release

It is better to tie in your book's release to an event. The last quarter of the year (Sept. ---Dec.) is the best time to do so. The reason is that at this time, booksellers stock their stores for the expected mass yuletide sales while friends use this period to buy books and give their friends.
J.K. Rowling chose to release her Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in the midnight of June 21, 2004. There could have been no better time than that witching hour. And before children in an English spelling class could spell best-seller the book has sold over 5 million copies making it the fastest and biggest selling book in the world! Even if Rowling topples her record in the next series, why not publish your best-seller and overturn the record.

(To be continued)

Excerpted from How to Write a Best-seller by Arthur Zulu

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Arthur Zulu is an editor, book reviewer, and author of Chasing Shadows!, How to Write a Best-seller, A Letter to Noah, and many other works. For his works and FREE help for writers, goto:

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