How to write a bestseller

Thursday 4 October, nicknamed Super Thursday by Waterstones, marked UK publishing’s biggest day, with more than 500 books hitting the shelves.

how to write a bestseller

All are vying for that stocking-filler space on Christmas morning, and around 63m books will be sold in the UK between now and December 25.

That’s a third of the market’s annual volume. So how can you get your book in the running this time next year? I’ll be completely honest. Despite my headline, I can’t guarantee you a bestseller. But I can help you give yourself your best shot.

Contenders for the top spot this year include memoirs from famous 70-somethings including Eric Idle’s “sortabiography”, Tina Turner and Michael Caine. Other highlights include an updated edition of Attenborough’s Life on Earth to mark the 40th anniversary of its first publication.

Over to you. Writing a novel consistently tops the list of unrealised New Year’s resolutions, alongside losing weight and drinking less.  So how about realising your dream of writing that book?  To help get you inspired, here are five book-writing tips based on the approach of famous authors.

1. Location, location

Find the right place to work.  It may be a quiet desk at home with a garden view or alternatively a bustling café, like JK Rowling penning Harry Potter.  Roald Dahl retreated to his shed at the end of the garden while Truman Capote, the author of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, wrote sitting up in bed.

Studies have shown that each of us has an optimal working position, so if sitting at the same old desk isn’t doing it for you, try something new to stimulate your imagination.

2. Night-owl or 9-to-5?

Have a routine and stick with it.  This might be a pre-dawn start, getting your writing done by lunch, favoured by the likes of Leo Tolstoy, Jane Austen and Ernest Hemingway.  Or setting yourself a daily target. Stephen King aims for six pages a day.

3. Go off-line

Smartphones, emails, social media. It’s a wonder we have any time to think.  Remove yourself from the distractions of modern life, even if only for set periods of time.  If that doesn’t work you could always go to the extreme of Pulitzer-Prize-winner Jonathan Franzen, who literally cuts his internet cable when he starts a novel.

4.Immerse yourself in books

Stephen King said: “If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time – or the tools – to write. Simple as that.”  Absorbing all the literature you can, can only enhance your own writing skills.  Look for inspiration, ideas and technique.

5.Get some help!

Not all of us are born writers. Don’t be afraid to get some help.  And that’s where we come in.

If you have a great life story or some original business or self-help ideas, the Editing Edge ghostwriting service can transform your research, blogs or even training-course notes into a book.

Perhaps you’ve written some short stories or a novel and are about to send your work to an agent or publisher.  Before you do, Editing Edge can ensure it reads easily and is free from embarrassing errors. We can correct typos and grammar, offer a literary opinion, point out any problems of coherence or clarity and may have suggestions about plot, characters and style.

Get your book out there for the next Super Thursday by contacting us today.

bookwriting tips