I’ll start with a disclaimer. I’ve never written a New York Times Best Seller, but I have had books in the top 100 of Amazon Kindle Top 100 Sellers. I am no expert, but I think I have an idea of how to write a best seller. It’s taken me a while to figure it out, but I’m pretty sure I can help you sell more books.
There are two kinds of writers. Mature and immature writers. Mature writers take time to write their book and follow all the rules they’ve learned through the years. Immature writers only want to get words on paper. The bigger the word count, the better for them.
Writing is a thinking process. You have to think sentence structure, whether you’re using the same words all the time. I call them weasel words because all they do is add words to paper, and they show you are not a mature writer. Yes, some writers can put a book out quickly, but they go over it again and again to make sure it is readable.
Lately I’ve noticed manuscripts with the word “so” at the beginning of a sentence. The authors tell me that’s the way people talk. It may be, but it’s not the way we write. It is very immature writing. I began to look at books and scan for the word, “so.” The best sellers do not use “so” at the beginning of a sentence. People realize you don’t know good writing habits. I’ve read Jenny B. Jones, probably the best young adult/teen writer there is. I don’t find her using “so” at the beginning of any sentences. It is not good grammar. I’ve also looked at some of the most popular writers in Christian fiction, and none of them had a sentence beginning with “so.” These are authors who have sold over one million copies.
Another word that bugs me is “that.” There are so many places we can eliminate “that.” It is hard, and it takes a long time to get used to not using it when it is not necessary, but it can be done. When you remove it where it is not needed, you will have a much more mature written book.
Also watch the characters names. Do not overdo one letter in the alphabet. Try not to use two names starting with the same letter. Never ever have the same name used for two people, unless it’s a junior. As I said before, you have to think when you write. If you have to, use a note pad and write down the name of each character. That will eliminate duplicate names and letters.
What is the first thing in writing a best seller? A well written book. What is the one most important thing in getting good sales? A well written book. No one wants to buy or read a book that is not written well. I will not recommend a book that is not written well. The better your book is written, the more sales you will have. Think when you write.