how to write a bestselling book

How to Write a Bestseller: Proven Strategies for Crafting a Bestselling Book in 2023

Ever dreamed of writing a bestselling book that captivates readers and leaves a lasting impression? Embark on a journey through this comprehensive guide on how to write a bestseller, where you’ll discover proven strategies and invaluable insights from bestselling authors, helping you craft a book that resonates with readers and leaves a mark in the literary world.

Short Summary

  • Unlock the key to writing a bestselling book by analyzing successful books and crafting dynamic ideas.

  • Master your genre, refine language, create an impactful title & harness networking power for success.

  • Stay motivated and build an author platform to grow readership and reach bestseller status!

Discovering Your Bestselling Story Idea

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Embarking on your writing journey requires a compelling story idea that resonates with readers. One powerful tool fiction and non-fiction writers can use to spark a captivating idea and start writing is the “What if” question. This simple yet potent technique can lead you to explore relevant themes, such as historical fiction, and uncover potential bestsellers.

To increase your chances of writing a bestselling book, consider the following steps:

  1. Examine a variety of high-performing books to reveal patterns that drive success.

  2. Once you have your big idea, test your one-sentence description on a few people to gauge their enthusiasm.

  3. Remember, connecting your story to meaningful historical events or thought-provoking ideas can make it relevant and appealing to readers.

Crafting Unforgettable Characters and Stories

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Creating complex and well-drawn characters is the key to success for most writers of any book, whether written in first person or third person. Character development, especially for female protagonists, seems to fare better in the literary fiction awards space when compared to male leads.

The Triangle Method of Character Creation is a fantastic strategy for crafting a compelling character. This method blends one aspect from each of three categories, allowing you to create a unique, multidimensional main character. Additionally, bringing the protagonist to their lowest point is essential for heightening the stakes and drawing readers into the story. This keeps your audience engaged and invested in the main character’s journey, making them eager to find out what happens next.

Choosing the Perfect Setting or Idea

An intriguing setting can bring your book to life and immerse readers in a vivid world, potentially landing your book on the New York Times Bestseller List. When selecting a setting, consider the genre, tone, and themes of your book idea or story, as well as the preferences of the publishing industry. Your choice of setting can significantly impact the reader’s experience and overall enjoyment of your book.

One way to create a captivating setting is by choosing unusual details to add texture to your story. For instance, describing breakfast can reveal a wealth of information about the characters and the world of the book, contributing to better book sales. By crafting an intriguing and immersive setting, you transport your readers to a different world, leaving them eager for more.

Mastering Your Genre

Understanding the conventions and trends of your chosen genre is crucial to crafting a story that appeals to your target audience. Reading the most acclaimed book of the past year is key in becoming an expert in your genre. Additionally, many bestsellers are also excellent sources for learning more about the art and craft of storytelling. This in-depth research helps you understand the market and make a great impression on potential agents or publishers.

Exploring popular themes like:

  • death

  • marriage

  • doctors

  • presidents

  • work

  • school

Can increase your chances of creating a book that resonates with readers and boosts book sales. By mastering your genre, you ensure that your book stays true to similar genre at its core while still offering a fresh and engaging perspective.

Navigating the Publishing Landscape

Navigating the publishing landscape can be both challenging and rewarding. Discovering the perfect publisher is essential for your book’s success in the competitive publishing industry. A book editor plays a crucial role in this journey, providing invaluable input and guidance to help you become a bestselling author.

Understanding the average length of a bestselling book can also contribute to better book sales. According to an analysis of 747 #1 bestselling hardcover books from 1950 to September 2017, the average length for novels is approximately 100,000-120,000 words. Nonfiction books average 50,000-60,000 words.

In addition, exploring markets outside the United States can significantly boost your book’s potential. Some key markets to consider are:

  • China

  • Japan

  • Germany

  • France

  • The UK

These countries make up over 60% of the worldwide expenditure on books.

Polishing Your Writing Style

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A refined writing style is essential for crafting a bestselling book. Clear, concise language and engaging narrative techniques keep readers hooked and eager for more. To improve your writing, consider using valuable resources like The Elements of Style by Strunk and White. This classic guide is an essential resource for any writer, especially before starting a book.

Online writing tools such as ProWritingAid can also help you begin writing and take your writing to the next level by enhancing your writing process. Designed to provide detailed feedback and guidance, this tool increases your chances of becoming a bestselling author.

By refining your writing style and utilizing these resources, you ensure that your book is enjoyable and accessible to a wide range of readers.

Creating an Impactful Title

An image of a person holding a pen and paper, brainstorming ideas on how to write a bestseller for creating an impactful title.

A memorable title is crucial for capturing the essence of your story and piquing readers’ curiosity. Many successful bestsellers have featured the word “wife” in their titles, contributing to increased book sales. Consider patterns found in popular works, such as the use of “THE” before the title, to create words with a lasting impact.

To come up with a title that sticks in readers’ minds, take into account the genre, main characters, and setting of your book. Testing your title by gathering feedback from friends, family, or potential readers can provide valuable insights and contribute to better book sales.

Harnessing the Power of Networking

A person networking, showing the power of networking for aspiring authors

Networking with successful authors can offer aspiring writers invaluable advice, encouragement, and insights into the publishing industry. Connect with successful authors by inquiring about their attendance at writers’ conferences or professional associations. Meeting with them can provide you with the secrets to becoming a bestselling author. This guidance can be especially beneficial for authors looking to navigate the complexities of the publishing world.

In today’s publishing world, marketing and promotion are more important than ever. By networking with successful authors and learning from their experiences, you can develop effective strategies for promoting your book and connecting with readers.

Utilizing Writing Courses and Resources

A person taking a writing course, showing the importance of writing courses for would be authors

Taking advantage of writing courses and resources can significantly improve your craft and help you learn from industry experts. A MasterClass Annual Membership, for example, grants access to amazing video lessons from renowned literary experts, potentially helping you become a bestselling author.

Writing tools such as Grammarly, ProWritingAid, and Hemingway Editor can also help you refine your writing by providing valuable feedback on grammar, spelling, and style. By utilizing these courses, resources, and tools, you can hone your skills and also gain access to the knowledge necessary to craft a captivating book.

Staying Motivated and Consistent

Staying motivated and consistent is crucial for writers to reach their goals and find success. Setting realistic goals keeps you focused on your writing journey and helps you maintain momentum. Writing consistently ensures steady progress and prevents you from losing sight of your objectives.

Celebrating small accomplishments along the way encourages you to persist and appreciate your progress. By staying motivated and consistent, you can overcome obstacles and stay on track to achieve your dream of becoming a bestselling author.

Building an Author Platform

A person writing a book, showing the importance of building an author platform

An author platform is invaluable for establishing credibility and building meaningful connections with readers, as well as gaining recognition in the publishing industry. Building a platform through blogging, social media, and speaking engagements allows you to interact with your audience and showcase your expertise.

Making your book proposal and venues accessible to people with disabilities can lead to a 25% increase in sales, for example, making it an important consideration in the publishing industry. For comprehensive strategies on overcoming writer’s block, don’t miss our detailed infographic, which you can find here.

When writing a non-fiction bestseller, starting with an exceptional Writing Plan can be a game-changer. It’s a true leg up on the competition to work with seasoned publishing professional, like Bryan Heathman, the Founder of Made for Success.

Made for Success has extensive experience in crafting compelling non-fiction narratives and provides a unique perspective that can help shape your ideas and structure your book for maximum impact. The “Draft a Book Experience” service package is a remarkable resource for authors embarking on their writing journey. Check it out here and take a step forward in becoming a bestselling non-fiction author.


In conclusion, creative process of crafting a bestselling novel involves discovering a compelling story idea, creating unforgettable characters, choosing the perfect setting, mastering your genre, navigating the publishing landscape, polishing your writing style, creating an impactful title, networking with successful authors, utilizing writing courses and resources, staying motivated and consistent, and building an author platform. By following these proven strategies and staying committed to your writing journey, you can achieve your dream of becoming a bestselling author and leaving a lasting legacy in the literary world.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much money can you make writing a bestseller?

Writing a bestseller can earn you royalties in the 7-12% range for print copies published, and potentially even as high as 15% for authors with large audiences. Hybrid published authors usually make a 50% royalty rate.

With the right book, you could make a lot of money!

How many books have to be sold to be a bestseller?

To become a NYT or WSJ bestseller, you need to sell at least 5,000 – 9,000 copies of your book, across diverse retailers and from multiple geographic locations in one week.

How do authors become bestsellers?

Give readers what they want, understand your own reader and prospective reader audience, and write with them in mind. Leverage public appeal and create relevant content to become a bestselling author.

What makes a book best selling?

A book becomes a bestseller when it has a relatable and fresh idea with a surprise twist that resonates with readers, as well as appearing on the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Amazon, or USA Today bestseller lists.

These lists are highly competitive and require most authors of a book to have a certain level of popularity and critical acclaim to make it onto the list. This is one idea why it is important for authors to create a book that stands out from the rest and is able to capture the attention of readers.

Made for Success as your Publishing Partner

Made for Success is a hybrid publisher with decades of experience in navigating the publishing industry, equipping our authors with all the tools needed to maximize their chances of becoming a bestseller.

If you need assistance in developing your book idea, finishing your manuscript, finding the right publishing strategy, or advice on your marketing strategy, we can help. Get in touch with us today.