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Answer by Archie D’Cruz, editor, designer, writer:
All right, time for some industry secrets. (Well, maybe not secrets, but certainly not widely known). For context, I work in the industry, have several clients in publishing, including one of the Big Five, and have been involved in campaigns for a few best-selling books.
The first thing I should say is that most authors who aspire to the title of “best-selling writer” focus heavily on the “writer” part and not nearly enough on the selling. For the purposes of this question, I will assume you have already mastered your craft and have a product that is worthy of best-seller status.
Second, it is important to understand that in publishing, best-selling doesn’t necessarily equate to biggest selling. For example, a fiction book that doesn’t make the best-seller list may still greatly outsell a nonfiction best-seller.
Third, there are several major best-seller lists, and some are harder than others to get onto. The New York Times list remains the gold standard when it comes to prestige, but don’t knock the ones maintained by USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, the L.A. Times, Publishers Weekly, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble, among others.
Finally, as you’ve probably already guessed, there are no guarantees that your book will become a best-seller. (There is one sneaky way that almost guarantees success, but we’ll come to that later.)
Here then are 10 tips that will significantly improve your chances of becoming a best-selling author: