Mystery, suspense, thrillers, paranormal, horror & YA by "Cheryl Kaye Tardif" & romance by "Cherish D'Angelo". Cheryl is represented by Trident Media Group in NY.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Recipe for a Bestselling Novel

Wouldn't it be great if there was a recipe for making a bestselling novel and if all a writer had to do was gather the ingredients and mix them in, and voila!―a bestselling novel is created? The reality is there are combinations of ingredients that can either get your name on a bestseller's list or fall flatter than an airless cheese soufflĂ©. However, there are some common ingredients that have helped authors achieve bestseller status.

Common Ingredients for a Bestseller:

·       1 cup of well written novel
·       1 cup of professional editing
·       1 cup of professional layout and interior design
·       2 cups of professional book cover, including gripping back cover text
·       1 cup of decent distribution via major online retailers
·       2 cups of book launch, tours and other events, plus advertising
·       3 cups of contests and giveaways by author, publisher or both
·       Countless hours of organization and time
·       Dash of excitement


Take the well written novel and beat in professional editing until light and readable. Add professional layout and interior design, then stir in professional cover art and back cover text until well combined. Sprinkle in decent distribution until coated and roll mixture out with book launch, tours and events. Top with contests and giveaways, and fold in countless hours of organization and time before adding the finishing touch―a huge dash of excitement. Share with everyone and enjoy!

Reality Check:

While the recipe above may seem kind of silly, these ingredients can lead to a bestselling novel. I know because I've used them all successfully. My novels have made bestsellers lists multiple times on and Some made multiple lists on each in a single day. 

I've also sold over 5000 copies of Whale Song, which in Canada makes it a national bestseller.

So how did I do it? I created an exciting day-long event―a "Bestseller Day"―that had enough goodies to draw people in. It was held on my 44th birthday and I gave away 44 prizes.

There are three main ways to get prizes to offer:
1.) Pay for them (I don't recommend this.)
 2.) Get others to donate them.
3.) Find someone to sponsor the event or the prizes. They pay for something you want to give away and get something in return, whether it's free advertising, a mention in your next book, or some other benefit.

The Benefits:

The first benefit of reaching this "status" is obvious. You can use "bestselling author" when describing yourself. 

The next obvious benefit is that you're selling more books, which means you're earning more. 

Another benefit you may not have thought about is exposure. When people look for a book on Amazon, they'll often search using keywords. If your thriller is in the top 10-20 of books listed under "techno-thriller", for instance, you have a much better chance of being noticed. While on those bestsellers lists, more people will come across your name and your book. The more times people see you and your book online, the better the chance is that they'll buy your book.

Becoming a bestselling author takes persistence, creativity and good organization. Follow this recipe for success and you'll rise like a soufflĂ©. Just don't forget that last ingredient―excitement!

Cheryl Kaye Tardif is a bestselling Canadian author whose critically acclaimed, award-winning novels have inspired much film interest. She's appeared on television and radio, and in newspapers and magazines. Cheryl has also presented at writers' conferences in Canada and the US, mainly on topics of marketing and promotion. She's helped many authors achieve success and does so as a book marketing coach, with Bestseller Days, Virtual Book/Blog Tours and Sponsorships her top 3 most requested topics.


Chynna said...

Great tips, Cheryl. I shared this on my author's page. (Hope that's okay!)

Thanks for sharing your pearls of wisdom. ;D


J. E. Medrick said...

Oh, my family's recipe is a little different. We only use 1 1/2 cups of professional book cover, plus a cup of name branding.

We have some shyer family members, so we only use about half a cup of tours and other events, but we supplement it with at least a cup of sincerity.

And, an extra dash of excitement never hurts :)

YA: Cheat, Liar
Adult: Shackled

James Garcia Jr said...

Thanks for the tips, Cheryl.