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The Bestseller Experiment

Join author and screenwriter Mark Stay with coach and entrepreneur Mark Desvaux, as they discover the secrets to writing a bestseller and challenge themselves and you to write, market and self-published a bestselling book in just one year. Each week, they are guided by and interview million-selling, chart-topping authors, publishers on the inside, editors, agents, social media specialists, and many more big names who play a part in the bestseller process. From the writing to marketing, plotting to publishing, learn the secrets to help you write your way to the top of the charts.
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Now displaying: 2018
May 5, 2018

Win Kelly Charles is a bestselling indie author who has publicly declared that she’s stepping away from Facebook after the Cambridge Analytica scandal. We talked about Win’s decision, how it affects her reach as an author, and her inspirational writing journey as someone born with cerebral palsy.

In this episode you will discover…

- How you can write a bestseller with an iPhone

- Why you’re not alone in struggling to reach readers on Facebook

- And should you delete Facebook?

To support the show go to bestsellerexperiment.com/support
Our novel Back To Reality is out now bestsellerexperiment.com/backtoreality

May 5, 2018

Writing short stories is hard! Cramming great character and story into just a few thousand words is a skill few writers master, but here are some tips to help you get started...

Hear more at http://bestsellerexperiment.com/support

Apr 30, 2018

Isabel Ashdown is the author of bestselling thrillers Little Sister and Beautiful Liars. She walked away from a successful career to focus on her writing and it all stepped up a gear when she entered a competition in a newspaper...

In this episode you will discover…
- Isabel’s working method with her editor Sam Eades (and we hear from Sam, too!)
- Some top tips for growing your social media and newsletter numbers
- The power of epilogues
- And is it better for your thriller to have a twist, have everything tied up, or have an open ending?

To support the show go to bestsellerexperiment.com/support
Our novel Back To Reality is out now bestsellerexperiment.com/backtoreality

Apr 29, 2018

CLICHES AND TROPES - how to identify cliches in your writing and tropes in your storytelling, and strategies for making your work stronger.

Hear more at http://bestsellerexperiment.com/support

Apr 23, 2018

Ed McDonald broke onto the fantasy scene with his incredible debut Blackwing in 2017 and has had an amazing year. He’s living the dream! Then a few weeks ago he wrote a very honest blog titled ‘Dear Debut Authors of 2018’ in which he asked the question, “What next?"

In this episode you will discover…

  • How to prepare for and navigate the first year of the publication of your book
  • Sales anxiety and why you need to treat your writing as a business and a career
  • How much should you act on reader feedback for your second book?
  • Top tips from Ed for writing fight scenes (he’s handy with a sword in real life, too!)
  • And here’s Ed’s original blog: https://edmcdonaldwriting.com/2018/03/10/dear-debut-authors-of-2018/

To support the show go to bestsellerexperiment.com/support

Our novel Back To Reality is out now  bestsellerexperiment.com/backtoreality

Apr 21, 2018

In this week’s Deep Dive Mark Stay is joined by Paul Hussey and they take a deep dive into the production of your publication.

Hear more at http://bestsellerexperiment.com/support

Apr 15, 2018

Michael J Ward is a writer and gamer who has taken choose-your-own-adventure books to the next level. With compelling characters and engaging stories his DestinyQuest books are written in a unique way and he gives us an insight into his process which writers of all genres will find invaluable.

In this episode you will discover…

  • How the techniques of games writing can be applied to your writing
  • The importance of identifying the turning points for your story
  • Why your characters’ choices really need to matter
  • And how publishing through crowdfunding can enable you to write without compromise

To support the show go to bestsellerexperiment.com/support

Our novel Back To Reality is out now  bestsellerexperiment.com/backtoreality

Apr 9, 2018

In this week’s Deep Dive Mark Stay is joined by Andy Bowden and they take a deep dive into the production of your publication.

Hear more at http://bestsellerexperiment.com/support

Apr 9, 2018

Editor Emad Akhtar has worked with authors like Michael Connelly, Ian Rankin and Justin Cronin and was kind enough to join our live show and answer our listeners' questions!

In this episode you will discover…

  • Common pacing issues with first drafts
  • Why your most difficult scenes might be a reward for readers
  • Why editors can be like movie producers, and what questions you should be asking editors
  • Why you shouldn't just slavishly follow an editor’s notes
  • And why you should consider supply and demand with exposition

To support the show go to bestsellerexperiment.com/support

Our novel Back To Reality is out now  bestsellerexperiment.com/backtoreality

Apr 7, 2018

This week’s Deep Dive is short n sweet and crammed with tips on making your chapters work as hard as possible. We’ll look at the purpose of the chapter, how it fits into the larger story, and what tools you can use when editing to ensure that your chapter earns its place in the story.


Hear more at http://bestsellerexperiment.com/support

Apr 1, 2018

We speak to Cavan Scott, an extraordinary writer who writes on licence, meaning that he is hired to write for licenced intellectual properties such as Star Wars and Doctor Who. If you’ve ever written fan fiction and dream of writing for a big franchise then you’ll find plenty of inspiration in this week’s episode.

In this episode you will discover…

  • How the world of tie-in and licensed fiction works
  • How to work to a brief or with a series bible
  • How copyright and public domain works
  • How good old-fashioned determination and persistence pays off with an extraordinary career

To hear more of this episode in our deep dive, check out bestsellerexperiment.com/support

Our novel Back To Reality is out now bestsellerexperiment.com/backtoreality

Mar 26, 2018

Audiobooks with Paul Stark

Here are some clips of what is happening over on the Deep Dive at http://bestsellerexperiment.com/support

Mar 25, 2018

We speak to Roz Morris, a writer whose books have sold over 4 million copies, but until recently you won’t have seen her name on the covers because she is a ghost writer. Roz has written for members of the SAS, rockstar bodyguards, children’s fantasy authors and more.

In this episode you will discover…

- How ghostwriters work with their authors

- Why the story is in the struggle

- How you can apply story structure to memoir and biography

- A method of turning notes into a story with scraps of paper and a box!

To hear more of this episode in our deep dive, check out bestsellerexperiment.com/support

Our novel Back To Reality is out now bestsellerexperiment.com/backtoreality

Mar 18, 2018

Here are some clips of what is happening over on the Deep Dive at http://bestsellerexperiment.com/support

Mar 15, 2018

We speak to Richard Morgan about his novel Altered Carbon and its long journey through development hell before it went on the become the biggest show on Netflix. And we look back on his incredible career, which includes fantasy fiction and comic books, and we look forward to his long-awaited forthcoming novel Thin Air.

In this episode you will discover…

  • The perils of selling the TV and film rights to your writing

  • Tips on completing trilogies and writing satisfying endings

  •  

    How adversity should strengthen your characters and not weaken them

  • The key differences between TV and film storytelling

To hear more of this episode in our deep dive, check out bestsellerexperiment.com/support

Our novel Back To Reality is out now bestsellerexperiment.com/backtoreality

Mar 11, 2018

Here are some clips of what is happening over on the Deep Dive at http://bestsellerexperiment.com/support

Mar 8, 2018

In the latest of an occasional series of reports from the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators conference, we speak to bestselling children’s author and illustrator Alex T Smith… and Mr. D makes a big declaration!

In this episode you will discover…

  • How themes help with story ideas for series characters
  • How your personality will make your book unique
  • How the most unexpected influences can enhance your writing
  • Why it might pay dividends to dig out your old sketches and writing

To hear more of this episode in our deep dive, check out bestsellerexperiment.com/support

Our novel Back To Reality is out now bestsellerexperiment.com/backtoreality

Mar 8, 2018

A special episode where Mr. Stay catches up with Sam Eades on the Gingerbread writing competition launched in episode 50, and speaks to the shortlisted authors, and we discover what it was about their writing that got them shortlisted...

 

In this episode you will discover…

  • How targets and deadlines are essential for any writer
  • How writing for competitions with a theme can help you dig deeper
  • How to find the courage to tell your own story
  • And editor Sam Eades introduces us to the mysterious story triangle!

To hear more of this episode in our deep dive, check out patreon.com/bestsellerexperiment

Our novel Back To Reality is out now bestsellerexperiment.com/backtoreality

Mar 3, 2018

Here are some clips of what is happening over on the Deep Dive at http://bestsellerexperiment.com/support

Mar 3, 2018

Braving snowmageddon, our monthly live show was recorded in London and Vancouver, with our audience of Patreon supporters. Featured listener questions include the secrets of metadata, author blogging, outlining, and crowdfunding. And there’s an update on Mark Stay’s book The End of Magic, which you can support here: bestsellerexperiment.com/endofmagic. To join us as an audience member at our next live recording, become a supporter today at: bestsellerexperiment.com/support

In this episode you will discover…

  • The dark secrets of metadata and how you can make it work for your books
  • How you can make a blog work harder
  • Tips for when you’re stuck on your outline
  • Why you should celebrate weaknesses
  • The pros and cons of present tense versus past tense
  • We discover what “brain tabs” are, and we discuss top tips for avoiding distractions while writing

To hear more of this episode in our deep dive, check out patreon.com/bestsellerexperiment

Our novel Back To Reality is out now bestsellerexperiment.com/backtoreality

Feb 26, 2018

Here are some clips of what is happening over on the Deep Dive at http://bestsellerexperiment.com/support

Feb 26, 2018
Mr. Stay has a new book coming! And it’s being published by Unbound Books who use a crowdfunding model. We discuss how it all works and how you, dear listener, can get involved at https://unbound.com/books/end-of-magic/
 
In this episode you will discover…
  • How crowdfunding works in publishing
  • Strategies for effective crowdfunding
  • The discount code exclusive to our listeners
  • And updates from our listeners, including one who has just secured a book deal with a major publisher!

To hear more of this episode in our deep dive, check out patreon.com/bestsellerexperiment

Our novel Back To Reality is out now bestsellerexperiment.com/backtoreality

Feb 19, 2018

Here are some clips of what is happening over on the Deep Dive at http://bestsellerexperiment.com/support

Feb 18, 2018

We speak to the completely charming Catriona Innes, Senior Editor of Cosmopolitan, the UK’s best selling glossy magazine. Working on the features desk she writes, edits and commissions the long reads, fitness and career sections of Cosmopolitan, as well as heading up the books content. She’s currently working on Hearst’s inaugural books prize, Big Book, as well as writing her first fiction novel.

In this episode you will discover…

  • How books get those big magazine features
  • Top tips for interviews (we took lots of notes) and how you can apply them to your writing
  • The secrets of undercover and investigative journalism
  • The benefits of setting up a writers' group
  • And how you can get involved with the Big Book Festival and Prize

To hear more of this episode in our deep dive, check out patreon.com/bestsellerexperiment

Our novel Back To Reality is out now bestsellerexperiment.com/backtoreality

Feb 12, 2018

Here are some clips of what is happening over on the Deep Dive at http://bestsellerexperiment.com/support

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