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  • Writer's pictureVadhan

Ten things to do to be a bestseller!

The big question, isn’t it? What makes something what it is? What makes one book a success and another a failure. Other than the obvious facts of  a choice of cover, prudent marketing, shameless sales pitches, begging people for reviews, wringing your heart out to your stone-hearted publisher to get the books to the stands. If you do succeed in most of these things, the book will get out there. But, then what? What makes a reader pick up the book rather than the one next to it.

Given that India has tons of writers trying their luck at getting out the next bestseller, what is the one factor that will make your book a bestseller? What is that formula X that’ll get you movie rights (which hopefully you haven’t signed away to your publisher) get you invited to prestigious literature festivals and throw you into the limelight.

Could it be something as simple as an appealing blurb? The genre? Your image on the cover? The opening lines of page one? All of them? None of them? Sheer dumb luck?

To be honest, I am still trying to get my head around it. To me, it is not just one thing. It is the ability to do the right thing right. Sounds easy, I know. But, let me tell you after loads and loads of experimentation that it is one of the hardest things in the world to do to get both rights, right.

What do I mean? To-do-the-right-thing-right. Two rights. Right thing. Do it right. If you do the right thing but in a wrong way, it gets wasted. If you do the wrong thing, there is no point in doing it right, is there? So you must get both rights, right. Right?

For instance, I had a moderate marketing budget. I spent too much of it doing all the things that my digital marketing guy said was important. I should have known when he said ‘results are not assured’ that he was making money. So, after a lot of snazzy digital images, online quizzes and what not, I found that it had no impact on my book sales. It brought in a lot of interest but for all the wrong reasons. I should have focused on driving people to the market place. They were just gawking at the pictures. Not the same thing.

So, without going into obvious things like writing style and ‘showing the audience rather than telling them’, the important thing I find is centrifugal to making your book a success are:

  1. Awareness creation that you as an author exist.

  2. Book trailers are a great draw. But, be professional about it.

  3. Reviews, reviews, reviews.

  4. Exposure in the right mediums. Literary mags, newspapers, literary platforms, online and offline.

  5. Reviews by those that count.

  6. Talking to people about your book. Wherever, whenever.

  7. Giving away your books for free to as many people as you possibly can. (A famous author once said he gives as many as 2000 copies of his book away each time.)

  8. Reviews by those who count. (Yeah, I am repeating it for a reason.)

  9. Remember, the author sells, not the story. (you buy your favourite authors, right?)

  10. Create your loyal followers.


Write to me at if you have anything to say to me…I love to read your opinion.


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Author Of Best Selling Fantasy Books

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