How to write a best-selling novel : the beautiful harsh thruth

In this post, we tackle the oh! so promising  »how to write a bestselling novel » articles you can fin out there. And we tell the truth about it. 

Being a writer is the perfect job.

You learn all the time, you read all the time and, in my case anyway, you drink tea all the time.

Lately, I have been searching back and forth the entire Web universe, looking for the best way to start off an author platform, since I’m almost done writing yet an another draft of the novel I’ve been trying to get published this past five years.

While doing that, I stumbled across so many  »how to’s » articles, it was overwhelming.

The vast majority of those  »how to’s » were super useful (I talked about the best tips about writing I found in a other post).

However, some  »how to’s » simply bugged me so much that I thought it was time to set the record straight.

In this post, we tackle the oh so promising  »how to write a bestselling novel ». And we tell the truth about it.

How to bestseller it

I studied literature in University. Didn’t finish my degree, but that’s a story for an another cold winter night.

I was also a bookshop girl and a bookshop buyer, with quite a soft spot for children’s and young adult literature.

I also worked one year in a publishing house.

All that to say that I studied my way around books, I worked my way around books, I read many, many books and I feel like this knowledge allow me to set the record straight about the famous  »how to write a bestseller ».

It’s crap.

Here’s why.

The truth about bestsellers

Every well-written, well plotted novel has the potential of being a bestseller.

Every ill-written, poorly plotted novel ALSO has the potential of being a bestseller.

On top of that, the word itself,  »bestseller », has become that big fat catchall of a word. As Jeff Goins (a, guess what, best-selling author), writes in a post carrying the dreaded title:

Today, the term bestseller means a lot of different things to a lot of different people, depending on who you ask, and not all of these terms are helpful.

So, what’s an aspiring author to do ? Well, you can do a LOT to help your book reach all those readers out. That’s a bestseller : a book that sales.

How to write a book that sales better than the other books

I am not going to tell you how, since a bunch of great people already wrote about it. I do not have a recipe.

I have seen a book written by a 9 years-old sales a 100,000 copies and a book written by a professional writer being send to the recycling bin.

Just before, let me tell you this super important fact : writing a novel, best-selling  one or not, takes time.

Stay away from the  »how to’s » write a bestseller in 90 days, 30 days courses, unless you don’t care about writing a novel that’s worth reading, worth sharing with others.

Nope, it’s not a strong statement. It’s the truth.

Now, here’s  my top 5 (no more, you don’t need more, trust me)  »how to’s » on writing a best-selling novel. Because there is such things of good tips about how to write a bestseller.

  1. Jeff Goins has a great view one the topic. He’s got a great podcast about it too. Take a look, his tips are worth it.
  2. Alexa Donne is a great author with a wonderful sense of humour. She is super fun, super witty and she’s got awesome tips about writing. She’s got a great youtube channel.
  3. The Writer’s digest. Yes, I said it. It is a good place to find tips on EVERYTHING about writing, and that includes best-sellers.
  4. This post on The Walrus does not exactly gives you tips per say, but it is a great read to get to now better about the world of bestseller.
  5. If you want it all, well this Lady Writer at has it ! It may be a tat overwhelming, but there’s so many good tips in there.

Writing for better or for worse

Writing is wonderful. Writing is hard. Writing novels for a living is a dream I’m working so hard to transform into a reality.

At some point, I felt like I would do anything just to get published, just to get a validation, just so you might ear that little « hey, great book girl » you’ve been dying to ear for years.

20 years in my case.

Let’s keep on writing, with the right tips in mind.

Until next time m’dears !

Auteur : Marie Alice

Writing away and reading books. Joy! Écrire à tout vent et lire des romans. Joie!

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