Have you always wanted to be a bestselling author?
You're certainly not the only one!
Many authors dream of making the New York Times Bestseller List, or the USA Today Bestseller List or even being an Amazon Bestseller (which by the way is easier although does not mean you make more on royalties necessarily since there are multiple factors that are figured in). While no one can guarantee that your book will be a bestseller, you can do a few things to improve your odds.
1. Choose a genre that is selling a lot of books. Some popular genres are romance/erotica, sci-fi-fantasy, horror and religious/inspiration to name a few. Be sure also to pick a genre that you will enjoy writing. It's not going to do you any good if you hate the genre and don't want to write a story in that genre because this will show in your writing. So, choose a genre you'll enjoy!
2. Make sure you’ve gotten your book edited to within an inch of its life! In other words, after you've edited it, make sure you use online tools, such as Grammarly for example, to catch any grammar and sentence structure mistakes. Then to be certain your manuscript is as good as it can be, use beta readers. If you don't have any beta readers, you can send out to your mailing list and post on your blog for them. Readers love being beta readers because it means they'll get a free book and be able to help an author make their story the best it can be!
3. Don't make your cover yourself unless you have a specific training in how to create book covers and or you're a graphic designer. Now, when I say trained, I mean you've researched how to make a good book cover and you have good Photoshop or GIMP skills. If your cover isn't appealing, readers won't buy your book and you won't become a bestseller. It's interesting because I've seen a number of books later that have awesome covers, but when you start reading it, the story is awful and/or it has no editing. So, don't make the mistake of thinking your cover alone will make your book a bestseller. Make sure what's inside the book is just as good this will increase your odds of becoming a bestseller.
4. Bu, most of all, be original and creative! If it won’t improve your odds, it will certainly make for a lot more fun while writing. And that will reflect on the quality of your stories and will get you more readers in the end.
This last pointer is what I mostly follow in my writing. Like in my Virtus Saga, where Book 1 The Sex begins as any ordinary romance would, with a dark-haired handsome prince knowing a beautiful but lower-class wench and offering her a job just so he can take advantage of her. A servant basically, she is already in love with him, so she probably won’t mind the treatment.
First day back in Black Rose, Prince Duncan Caldwell’s estate, Ylianor Meyer meets up with Anne Peacock, the Caldwell’s cook.
“So how did you really sleep?”
Sleep? What’s sleep? Fitful spells of unconsciousness fragmented by frequent visions of scorching sex with Duncan—that had been Ylianor’s very hot, very agitated night.
“Not so good, eh?” Anne beat her to the answer. “I can tell from your face. It must be hard to be back, considering all the painful memories you left behind.”
Surprised at how Anne had summed up with a few simple words the anguish tormenting her, Ylianor nodded. “I’m still wondering why he called me here.” Bravely, she tried her mouth on a plump buttery roll. “And whether he told…” She swallowed the lump in her throat along with the piece of bread. “You know who that I’m back.” To keep a measure of balance, she finished the excellent roll.
“You mean if he has told his mother?” Of course, Anne had no trouble understanding. “No, I don’t believe he has, or we’d have heard the screams.” Her broad smile broke the tension that had been building in Ylianor. “He’s probably keeping the surprise in store for today. As to why he wants you here…” Anne shrugged. “Who knows? It’s true we need a stable keeper and have been looking for one since your father fell ill.” Grabbing a few dirty pots and pans, Anne went to the sink. “No one so far seemed good enough for Prince Caldwell. He’s so particular about his horses, about how they’re treated and that Fuzeon makes it an impossible task for anyone just trying to be friendly with him.” She began washing everything under a jet of running water. “Come to think of it, Duncan is particular about his women, too. His mother is tormenting him about pledging, but he just won’t give her the satisfaction,” she snickered.
“What do you think is the problem?” Suddenly very curious, Ylianor leaned forward.
“The same as the stable keeper, I suppose.” Angling her head above her shoulder, Anne managed to catch Ylianor’s gaze. “He hasn’t found the right one yet.” She focused back on the sink. “The gods know he tried more than his share, but none seem good enough for our prince. I think he’s just too choosy about everything, from horses to people. That’s why he’s got few friends, no mate and no stable keeper.”
“Come on, Anne.” Ylianor laughed. “Aren’t you being a bit hard on poor Duncan?”
“Don’t get me wrong.” After turning off the water, Anne dried her hands. “He knows a lot of people, but most hardly qualify as friends.” She moved to the stove to check on a boiling pot then poured hot water inside a cup. “As for women, they’re always after him, one way or another. But that’s different from having a mate, don’t you think?”
Choosy or not, the prince decides to go for the servant, in bed I mean, the moment a thunderstorm traps him inside an isolated shelter.
So far, it’s all so predictable that it comes as no surprise that she’s also a virgin!
Given the premises, what else could she have been? Isn’t that how things go in your average romance about boy meets girls, falls in love and lives happily ever after? So no difference here, either, right?
Here is just where things start to differ.
Suddenly, a boyfriend appears out of nowhere to claim what’s his, has always been his since as far back as the two first met.
The boyfriend, Lord Christopher Templeton, has just arrived in Black Rose, and Anne speaks her mind about him.
Ylianor looked around the empty kitchen with the central table full of food. “But where is everybody?”
“Oh, now that the great Lord Templeton is here, they’re all running around like crazy.” Resigned to let her go, Anne dropped her arm to a side. “Never liked the boy anyway and never will.” Going to the stove, she stirred a large boiling pot. “He’s not a good influence on our prince, if you know what I mean.”
I sure do! “I just remember him as a little boy.”
“A hateful and spiteful one at that. And that’s the kind of man he’s going to become.” Anne seemed to have no doubts about it. “It’s just a shame he only has eyes for our prince, while poor Lady Elizabeth pines after him in vain.” An ironic smile curved her lips. “I heard her say it with my own ears.” She nodded vigorously as if to stress the truth of her statement. “And it’s plain to see how she wears her heart out on a sleeve simply to attract his attention, and he barely looks at her twice. Still, she keeps hoping one day he’ll ask her to pledge.” A hearty laugh broke out loud. “Ha, that’ll be the day!” Opening the oven, she checked on something that smelled deliciously and seemed to be perfectly broiled. “And she’s a fool if she hasn’t figured it out already, not to mention plain blind to set her heart on someone as gorgeous as Lord Templeton.” Closing the oven, she shook her head philosophically. “I mean the man looks like a god!”
Yeah, Ylianor already suspected it.
“Plus he’s never been interested in her,” Anne scoffed. “And just between you and me, I don’t think he’s interested in women at all.”
Well, if his behavior as a child was any indication, Ylianor could agree with this, too.
“At least not like our prince is.” Anne angled her head behind a shoulder to catch Ylianor’s gaze. “Even if he doesn’t like them too thin.”
“The prince?” Ylianor’s face grew hot. “What does he have to do with anything?”
Anne’s voice lowered a notch, “He’s the master, isn’t he?”
“He definitely is.” And don’t I know it.
“So he pretty much gets to decide things around here, including how his women should look.” After wiping her hands on a nearby towel, Anne pulled out a chair from the table. “Wouldn’t you agree?”