The question I hear most from aspiring authors is, “How do I write a bestseller?”
My answer is always the same: “You can’t. Nobody can do that. All you can do is write the story you want to write in the best way that you can. What happens after that is up to the audience.”
It’s a sad fact of life for writers, but there’s no proven formula for producing a best-seller.
J.K. Rowling must hear that question an awful lot too – that’s my assumption, but when you see an American news service running headlines like “JK Rowling gives ‘words of wisdom’ to emerging writers” you can safely bet that she’s answered the question a few times.
Her advice is good. Write what you’re passionate about. Don’t be discouraged by rejection. Keep going. Make it as good as it can be. And then keep going some more.
To that, I would add: Make sure you’ve got your word choices, punctuation, and paragraphing right. Don’t settle for a mediocre cover. And don’t be afraid to go Indie and self-publish: that’s how Charles Dickens and Walt Whitman started out, too.
In fact, some of the very best books I’ve read over the last 12 months have been Indie books. I honestly believe that people who dismiss Indie books as “not good enough” are missing out on some of the best books available.
If you’re an aspiring author, listen to advice from those who know.
It can be disheartening. I can be really hard, even when you know you have put a great book out there, and people don’t seem to be catching on that you’re a literary genius. These things take time. But if you keep going when others give up, sooner or later, someone is going to notice you and, even more importantly, your book.