Author Topic: Want to know how to become a bestseller? Read this blog  (Read 2722 times)  

Offline '

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Want to know how to become a bestseller? Read this blog
« on: January 26, 2015, 06:59:10 AM »
Hugh Howey invited M. L. Banner to talk about his success. This is the blog post; it tells you everything you need to know about making your very first book a success:

http://www.hughhowey.com/best-selling-and-unknown-by-m-l-banner/#more-33394

Offline leona5667

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Re: Want to know how to become a bestseller? Read this blog
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2015, 08:34:48 AM »
Fantastic!! Thank you for the link!

Offline cinisajoy

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Re: Want to know how to become a bestseller? Read this blog
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2015, 09:23:26 AM »
Excellent blog post.
http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,216185.msg3013849.html#new

Please help our friend and fellow kboarder Craig Hansen.

Offline '

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Re: Want to know how to become a bestseller? Read this blog
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2015, 12:11:17 PM »
Fantastic!! Thank you for the link!

You're welcome, Leona!

Excellent blog post.

Yes, just the kind of inspirational advice that newbies need, and packed with useful information.

Offline Marilyn Peake

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Re: Want to know how to become a bestseller? Read this blog
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2015, 12:28:12 PM »
I read that blog post a few days ago and found it extremely helpful!

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Offline Stewart Matthews

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Re: Want to know how to become a bestseller? Read this blog
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2015, 12:37:01 PM »
His success story is fantastic and I'm a big fan. All the points about the mistakes made me smile because I've made them all.

I'm not sure it tells us everything. Maybe he'll pop by and correct me.  It reminds me of Locke not mentioning that he bought reviews as part of his success. (Though not as sticking your finger down your throat as that) I just get the feeling that something is missing from the post.

As an example, there is no mention of Wattpad here that I can see. His collection of short stories on Wattpad which haven't been updated for 6 months have had 89,000 reads. I am guessing here that he was building, or had built a fan base before he pressed publish? It's all about those initial sales as he says (and reviews, I say). The sales don't magic themselves, but attention to detail is a good start. Brilliant post.

I got this impression as well. It's great to see that he's doing so well, but I'm having trouble figuring out what he did but get... lucky? Getting on Amazon's hot new release list is, of course, a tremendous boon, but you really have to get lucky to do that with your first release.
 

Offline Rick Gualtieri

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Re: Want to know how to become a bestseller? Read this blog
« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2015, 01:27:03 PM »
I got this impression as well. It's great to see that he's doing so well, but I'm having trouble figuring out what he did but get... lucky?

That was kind of my takeaway as well.


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Offline Sever Bronny

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Re: Want to know how to become a bestseller? Read this blog
« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2015, 02:54:12 PM »
A good read. I also get the feeling there's something missing. Maybe keywords, or paid advertising ... something. Anyway, thanks for posting :)

Offline Victoria LK

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Re: Want to know how to become a bestseller? Read this blog
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2015, 03:59:17 PM »
enjoyed this, thanks for posting.  I also found it was interesting to see he doesn't live that far from me. Its always fun to see where others are from

Offline Chris Fox

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Re: Want to know how to become a bestseller? Read this blog
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2015, 04:08:37 PM »
This was an excellent read. Thanks for posting!

Offline ireaderreview

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Re: Want to know how to become a bestseller? Read this blog
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2015, 10:51:21 PM »
This reads a bit like

***
We started off to fight the war.

Wow! we Won! The forces of Good have triumphed.
***

No details on strategy or how the war was fought and won.


His 5 mistakes and 5 lessons are good.

Interesting that he doesn't talk about either strategy or execution.

As David S said 'and then the algorithms kicked in'.

******
Anyways, good to hear someone was successful.
Would be nice to hear some success stories that seem more like well planned and well executed initiatives and not just blessings of the Algorithm Monsters.


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Offline ireaderreview

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Re: Want to know how to become a bestseller? Read this blog
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2015, 10:54:22 PM »
On that note, has anyone noticed that

1) A lot of successful authors, etc. like to talk in all this vagueness i.e.

word of mouth
it just took off
magic happened.

2) Hardly any one talks about the stuff they did that created the success.

It's almost as if they care more about 'spinning a story of how serendipitious/magical their success was' than actually revealing any secrets.

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Offline vlmain

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Re: Want to know how to become a bestseller? Read this blog
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2015, 11:19:26 PM »
On that note, has anyone noticed that

1) A lot of successful authors, etc. like to talk in all this vagueness i.e.

word of mouth
it just took off
magic happened.

2) Hardly any one talks about the stuff they did that created the success.

It's almost as if they care more about 'spinning a story of how serendipitious/magical their success was' than actually revealing any secrets.

I think people tend to be cautious about giving specifics, because as soon as they do, someone will come along to tell them that their way is not the only way, or take some other issue.

Or, they just might want to keep their best strategies to themselves.

Offline elalond

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Re: Want to know how to become a bestseller? Read this blog
« Reply #13 on: January 27, 2015, 12:18:38 AM »
@Shelagh
Thank you for sharing.

A good read. I also get the feeling there's something missing. Maybe keywords, or paid advertising ... something. Anyway, thanks for posting :)

I remember the time before Wool took off. What I think helped Hugh with success, beside writing good story, is that he was (ans still is) very present on social platforms (not as much as he was though), very reachable and very helpful. He was networking a lot, in a pleasant, unobtrusive way, always giving people a nice word or word of encouragement.
Good impression; very-likable personality; his presence on social platforms; a bit of luck, when a radio host browsing on Amazon picked up his book (if I remember correctly); hard work; and good stories are what, I believe, shot Hugh's books onto bestsellers lists.

Offline '

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Re: Want to know how to become a bestseller? Read this blog
« Reply #14 on: January 27, 2015, 05:14:51 PM »

[/quote]
This sums it up:

"and then Amazon's algorithms kicked in."


Sometimes the algorithms are kicked in:

http://writingbytheseatofmypants.com/2013/10/06/manipulating-amazons-algorithms-to-boost-book-sales/

Offline Patty Jansen

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Re: Want to know how to become a bestseller? Read this blog
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2015, 05:24:44 PM »
Quote
Hardly any one talks about the stuff they did that created the success.

BECAUSE NO ONE KNOWS!

That first hit really is luck. And these people get invited to speak on blogs etc and all they can say is "It just happened." Well, you know, publishers have been trying to distill bestseller juice for over 100 years, and they don't have it, and every time one of these people comes along, they skip over the fact that no one knows and they just got lucky.

THEY GOT LUCKY!

And now go back to writing so that you can get lucky, too. And learn your craft and get familiar with your genre.

Excuse me while I crawl under the desk to retrieve my eyeballs.

Offline ireaderreview

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Re: Want to know how to become a bestseller? Read this blog
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2015, 05:29:26 PM »
OK

So we could say it's one of two things

1) Some very specific strategy.

This: they just might want to keep their best strategies to themselves.

Howver, you can't have your cake and eat it too. Why go around promoting your stuff as 'find out the secret. find out how' and then not share anything.

2) It's just blind luck.

I don't believe that but then there's not really any specific reproducable strategy.

So who knows.

******

I'm curious about one thing. Hugh Howey - was he the first person to do serials?

What part did that play?

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Offline she-la-ti-da

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Re: Want to know how to become a bestseller? Read this blog
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2015, 04:14:07 AM »
BECAUSE NO ONE KNOWS!

That first hit really is luck. And these people get invited to speak on blogs etc and all they can say is "It just happened." Well, you know, publishers have been trying to distill bestseller juice for over 100 years, and they don't have it, and every time one of these people comes along, they skip over the fact that no one knows and they just got lucky.

THEY GOT LUCKY!

And now go back to writing so that you can get lucky, too. And learn your craft and get familiar with your genre.

Excuse me while I crawl under the desk to retrieve my eyeballs.

This!^^^^

If anybody knew how to do it, we'd all be doing it. We'd all have bestsellers and be super-rich. Richer than James Patterson! :O
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Offline Tommy Donbavand

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Re: Want to know how to become a bestseller? Read this blog
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2015, 04:18:21 AM »
A very interesting read!  I'll be keeping that one bookmarked.

Thanks for sharing!

Good writing!

Tommy


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Offline Jan Hurst-Nicholson

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Re: Want to know how to become a bestseller? Read this blog
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2015, 04:50:55 AM »
Thanks for the link.
When I first published But Can You Drink The Water? in 2010 it became a 'bestseller' reaching #20 in the bestseller list in the UK - and I've no idea how it happened, and I've no idea how to revive it from obscurity  ::).

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Offline '

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Re: Want to know how to become a bestseller? Read this blog
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2015, 05:06:25 AM »
Thanks for the link.
When I first published But Can You Drink The Water? in 2010 it became a 'bestseller' reaching #20 in the bestseller list in the UK - and I've no idea how it happened, and I've no idea how to revive it from obscurity  ::).

2010 was before KDP Select, Jan. Everything has changed since then. Now we have KU and we are seeing another shift. Amazon is a business that has to change and adapt to customer needs. We are just collateral damage.