Best Selling Books and Crimped Hair

You can try to write to the latest fashions, but what is the story going to look like 20 years later?

oh those 80s
oh those 80s

What is it that makes a best-seller anyway?

7 thoughts on “Best Selling Books and Crimped Hair

  1. Pamela: ha!

    Was talking the other day with The Stepson, who hopes to have success with music the same way (I think) that I’d like to have success with writing. We were saying there are dozens of variables that determine whether someone breaks out in pop/rock music — only a handful of which are under a given musician’s “control,” and the rest of which could break one way or another at any time. Sounds familiar to me.

    Faulkner’s books might be considered best-sellers over time. Given your druthers, would you prefer to have Faulkner’s eventual type of best-sellerdom — most of the copies sold resulting from classroom requirements and library purchases? or would you prefer Stephenie Meyer’s (write a book whose pre-orders alone make it a best seller)? or maybe more like Terry Pratchett, who’s seemed to reach best-seller status like a snowball, gradually accreting it over time?

    (Not talking about their types of books, I mean — just their, uh… careers, I guess.)

  2. First, I hope to get an agent. Then published. Then sell enough books to be asked back. Best-sellerdom is not really part of it. But that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like the money to pay for the kiddo’s college…

  3. Me too Marta. I want to be able to make a living off of being a writer and/or artist. Fame, bestsellerdom? Not necessary. I’d like good reviews, but that’s not absolutely necessary either, although I’d die if the experts hated it.

    I don’t know what makes a best seller. Luck?

    But it helps to start with a book people love which comes down to a few things, I think:

    Good story.
    Compelling Characters.
    The author’s passion.

    The writing doesn’t have to be great. The characters don’t have to be complex. But I think the author always has to take the reader seriously and give them respect, and do their damnedest with the story. Even in a simple YA story or a cheesy romance– and that’s MY definition of a cheesy romance. If the author thinks it’s cheesy, it’s done for.

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