Tag Archive - success

How Best-Selling Writers Sabotage Themselves (and How to Learn from Their Mistakes)

You encounter an author, and it’s love at first page. You declare your devotion over Facebook and write giddy reviews on Goodreads.

When the author publishes new work, you fall on it like a jackal. But then, the inevitable happens. You read their book—maybe it’s their second; maybe it’s their seventh—and you’re deeply disappointed. Continue Reading…

Nailing Your Novel’s Genre in Your Opening Scene

In the last two posts on my blog in this Writing for Life section I’ve been exploring how writers can target genres that sell well in order to find their own measure of success. I’ve done numerous posts on success: how we writers might not only define success but tweak our personal definition of success so that we can reap deep joy and a sense of fulfillment in our writing.

I firmly believe attitude plays a huge part in feeling successful. For, even if a writer is a “flop” according to worldly standards (numbers of copies sold, revenue per title, etc.), she can feel successful in the way that really matters—which is in her own soul. We have to live with ourselves, and the way we measure success can either open the way for great joy or for great misery. Continue Reading…

Tweaking Your Writing and Genre for Success

Last week I began talking about the wisdom in studying other authors’ works in order to nail a genre. This may or may not be something you are interested in, but in dealing with hundreds of clients each year who hire me to critique and edit their novels, I note that most of them 1) want to have successful sales with their books and 2) are targeting a specific genre. Some of my clients aren’t sure what genre they are writing in, or what audience they are writing for. As a result, those books are usually unfocused, awkwardly constructed, lacking clear style and voice.

I get that a lot of beginning writers are just finding their feet (or, rather, voice) and are often experimenting with writing to get some chops and see if they can just write a somewhat coherent novel. All well and good. But at some point, a writer needs to ask herself questions like “Just what do I want to do with this book?” and “Do I want to grow fans and make money from my writing?” Continue Reading…

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