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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: 2020
Dec 28, 2020

Mark Victor Hansen is co-writer of Chicken Soup For The Soul, the mega-selling phenomenon that has sold over half a billion copies worldwide. He takes us through his extraordinary story to publication and beyond.

Dec 28, 2020

Leslie O’Connor has worked extensively in corporate marketing, and she put those skills to use when relaunching Mitch Benn’s Terra trilogy of books.

Dec 21, 2020

Jo Ho is an award-winning screenwriter and director, best known for creating the BBC TV series Spirit Warriors, but she has recently turned her hand to self-publishing with great success.

Dec 14, 2020

The Two Marks talks about isolation, loneliness, the voices in our head and all the other stuff that can make a writer feel like they are alone. We discuss what we can do to build a healthy community around us, even in lockdown. And we share the good news stories from our communities on Patreon, Facebook and the Academy.

 

Dec 7, 2020

Lucy Vine is a freelance journalist who has written for pretty much every magazine going. Inspired by one of Lucy’s articles, editor Katie Seaman commissioned Lucy to write Hot Mess, a full-length novel, in an incredibly short space of time and, between them, have discovered a brilliantly efficient way of working together.

Dec 3, 2020

Author Allen Stroud is the current chair of the British Science Fiction Association and has a Masters Degree in Science Fiction and Fantasy Worldbuilding. In this special Deep Dive Allen talks about his new novel Fearless, writing for characters with disabilities, and he has some amazing tips on world building.

Nov 30, 2020

BJ Fogg, PhD, founded the Behavior Design Lab at Stanford University and created the Tiny Habits Academy to help people around the world. He tells us how the smallest changes can make a huge difference to your productivity as a writer.

Nov 23, 2020

We welcome back Shannon Mayer for the third and final part of our epic interview with her and we finally tackle something that can put the fear of death into many authors… Marketing.

Nov 20, 2020

Rhoda Baxter returns to the podcast with an amazing book that covers everything authors need to know about all the scary stuff: contracts, intellectual property, rights, and income. In this Deep Dive, she answers listeners questions on advances, choosing agents, negotiating terms, audio rights, and the steps that you can take before you’re even published.

Nov 16, 2020

We welcome bestselling author Rowan Coleman back to the podcast, but this time she’s wearing a Brontë bonnet. Writing as Bella Ellis she is two books into the Brontë Mysteries, which imagines the famous sisters as mystery-solving sleuths. Rowan takes us through her process of research and strategies for writing around history and real people.

Nov 9, 2020

Is there such a thing as a positive rejection? This week we chat with award-winning author, Liz Fenwick about the importance of persistency on the journey to being published, why your book’s location matters, the world of literary consultancies and how to silence your inner critic.

Nov 2, 2020

Sally Gardner is an award-winning novelist who has sold more than 2.5 million books worldwide. The Snow Song is her third adult novel is about a woman who loses her voice as the snow falls. With themes of isolation it feels more relevant than ever. Sally is huge fun and takes us through her incredible career and has some amazing advice for writers at all levels, including why she writes in colour.

Oct 26, 2020

Ben Aaronovitch started writing for Doctor Who and became the author of the bestselling Peter Grant series that started with Rivers Of London in 2011 and has been hugely successful, regularly hitting the Sunday Times bestsellers top ten. We were delighted to get Ben for a conversation full of fireworks.

Oct 23, 2020

David Pennington is an author, writing coach and copywriter who is on a mission to improve how we tell stories. In this Deep Dive we discuss the importance of drafting, tapping into your “mental milk” and “infinite brain”, why you need to hold yourself accountable, and getting ideas via “crate digging”.

Oct 19, 2020

We celebrate four years of the podcast with a live show where our Patrons and Academy members ask us anything and everything. The Two Marks reveal how the podcast started, who they would cast in the movie of Back to Reality, how the podcast has changed them, their favourite writing tips, what they’re proudest of and what’s in store for the future.

Oct 12, 2020

Joe is the bestselling author of Heart-Shaped Box, Horns, NOS4A2, Locke & Key and most recently the New York Times #1 epic blockbuster The Fireman. Joe, son of Stephen King, is powerhouse storyteller from an incredible family of writers. 

Oct 7, 2020

How can authors use YouTube to engage with readers and drive sales? We talk to Jeremy Mason a TV Producer, Director of Photography and Lighting Cameraman with over 20 years UK broadcast experience. He’s been steeped in the world of digital marketing over the last 3 years, exploring how the power of video can be better used for commerce.

Oct 5, 2020

Charles Stross is the multi-award winning author of bestselling series of space opera, alt-history and more. With his new novel Dead Lies Dreaming he jumps back into his Laundry Files universe, and he gives us some incredible tips on writing successful long-running series and how to grow your reader base. And the Two Marks look forward to celebrating four years of the podcast with a special live show. Find out how you can join them...

Sep 28, 2020

Sarah Pinborough has had over twenty novels published and written for TV and film. Sarah’s new thriller Behind Her Eyes is getting incredible buzz after a heated auction. Sarah is always funny, insightful and often eye-wateringly honest. Brace yourselves for one of our most entertaining author chats yet… WARNING: Contains strong adult language!

Sep 21, 2020

Carole Matthews has sold over 6 million books in 31 countries. She’s written two books a year for the last ten years and was inducted into the Festival of Romance Hall of Fame. She tells us how it all started with a writing competition, why you shouldn’t be afraid to abandon a book, why being nosey is part of an author’s job, and the role insomnia plays in her writing day, and why none of it means anything if you don’t write from the heart.

Sep 14, 2020

The second part of our interview with bestselling Indie author Shannon Mayer who recently hit #2 in the main Amazon.com charts outselling Stephen King and other greats. We talk about her new deal with Amazon, ‘hybrid’ authors, the importance of an author’s intent, being business-like and collaboration.

Sep 7, 2020

Philip C. Quaintrell is in Amazon’s top 1.8% of self-published authors. He does this with no marketing spend, no newsletter, and epic fantasy novels so massively epic that even Brandon Sanderson would quake at their page count. He’s also one of the nicest authors we’ve interviewed. He gives us the lowdown on how he moved from full-time job to full-time author in just a few years.

Aug 31, 2020

‘How do I get a literary agent?’ is one of the most common questions asked by new writers, so we asked Federica Leonardis, founder of Martin Leonardis Literary Management, and her debut novelist Sonya Lalli.

Aug 29, 2020

What can an indie publisher offer to authors that the big houses cannot? MD of Caffeine Nights Darren Laws and author Timothy Adler show us how the bespoke service that an indie publisher provides can be more effective for authors in key genres. They answer listener questions on marketing, ebook pricing, selling into online and bricks and mortar stores.

Aug 24, 2020

Caro Ramsay is the author of the critically acclaimed Anderson and Costello series, the first of which, Absolution, was shortlisted for the CWA's New Blood Dagger for best debut of the year. In a hugely entertaining interview she tells us how life-changing trauma led to an incredible career as an award-winning writer.

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