Between writing what you enjoy and writing what sells, there is a big difference. But since they depend on each other, writing what you enjoy and writing what sells can be combined. If you’re reading this, it means you’re here because sometimes you don’t want to end up sweating your time out writing what can only gain a place in your library or bought by a friend or two.
Here are five tips on how to write a book that sells.
- Become a Bookworm: An avid reader is a bookworm: one who is very passionate about books. So if you want yours to sell, you need to start by reading many books, preferably different genres. Maybe not every writer is a reader, but every author is indeed a reader. Don’t let the plot catch you off balance while reading books to writing a novel that sells. In every book you come across, you need to concentrate on the writing style, the plot, dialogue, characterisation, blurb, and other technical aspects. Read each book twice, if possible, to get detailed information on how each author writes their story, making their book a bestseller.
- Start Writing: Yes, it’s as simple as that. Start penning down some thoughts. Pick a suitable genre you know is of popular demand, and find a way to write a book related to that niche, using your style. Although many authors write about fantasy, it doesn’t mean you should copy their style because you are also interested in such a genre. Try to be honest with yourself. Start writing even though you’re not a professional. Your first manuscript is initially a draft because it will contain many typographical errors, grammatical errors, POV problems, messy characterisation e.t.c in the writing process. Learn how to write, as well. You could read books on grammar, join a writing conference, embrace criticisms, join a support group or register for online courses on how to write. These will sharpen your writing skills and earn your book a great chance to be published.
- Self Editing: Self Editing is essential because you are your best editor. Try as much as possible to be strict with yourself. Remove what is wrong, replace with what is right, rephrase, punctuate, correct as many mistakes as possible, even if it will mean you have to start all over again. That’s fine. You don’t want to submit a crappy manuscript to your publisher; It will earn you an outright rejection. So take your time, don’t allow your first experience in writing and completing a book, take your mind off editing.
- Write for the Market: Always be on the lookout for what’s trending. Know your audience to determine what they love to read. It would be best if you didn’t write about a genre unless you also enjoy it and have an excellent idea about it. Observe authors who write in the same niche you’ve chosen; read their books to see what they write. Apply the same technique to yours but never copy their writing style.
- Don’t fake it: if you don’t write about a genre you’re interested in and have good knowledge about, it will be obvious. Write what you love to read at the same time, considering what sells. ‘If you don’t know and love the genre you are writing about, it will show, and you won’t make it.’ (Writer’s Digest). Have it at the back of your mind that you may get rejected by several publishers, don’t let this demotivate you. If you are convinced that you are outstanding, you will get published someday.