Thursday, May 29, 2014

My 5 Tips for Hitting Bestseller Lists

I love Writer's Digest. Truly, I do. And no, I wasn't paid to say that, although if the magazine wanted to pay me to say it, I would. But seriously, into my inbox each day comes something from Writer's Digest, and most of the time, it's useful.

What arrived today?

A post on 5 Tips for Hitting Bestseller Lists. Now, as you know, I just want to publish my damn books -- I don't really care about hitting the bestseller lists. But I thought I'd read the article anyway, as maybe it was written by my buddy, Brian Klems. So I clicked on the link, but then realized that alas, the article was not written by him. I read the article anyway, that's how enamored I am with Writer's Digest.

According to the author, Gretchen Crary, here's what you can do. I don't plan on posting the article here because, of course, you can just click on the link (duh!). Plus, there are only four things to consider, as listed by Gretchen. Not five. I'm guessing that whatever she wrote in the paragraph before the actual "list" included in the article counts as one tip. However, I trust titles. And I don't like that this title tricked me. And finally, this article did not address the subject that I thought it was going to. I won't call that trickery, just a simple misunderstanding. But still...

Anyway, what I thought the article was going to tell me was how to write a bestseller, not how to hit it after I've already found an agent and had plans to publish. But that's okay, because just today, I have once again confirmed how to actually write the bestseller of the year. For as I browsed the library shelves, I pulled off an Ebook bestseller (now in print, due to high demand) that is sure to top a list somewhere. And why? There are at least five reasons (might as well stick with that nice number):
  1. Naked genitalia
  2. Swingers
  3. Blindfolds
  4. An ingenue
  5. An older, more experienced, man
It was Fifty Shades all over again, I tell you, with zero Oh Mys and no references to long fingers. It lacked character development, a story arc, and good writing. And of course, the book has received at least 4 stars out of 5 in many rating circles.

And so, my friends, what Writer's Digest should have said the 5 Tips for Hitting Besteller Lists are:
  1. Sex
  2. Sex
  3. Sex
  4. Sex
  5. Sex
I can't do it, friends. I just can't bring myself to add that element to my stories in the way the reading public wants. Which means I might be out here a long while, floundering.

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