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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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The Bestseller Experiment
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Now displaying: Category: Writing
Sep 17, 2017

Holy cow! Only four weeks till publication? Already?? What do we do? What do we do? How did it come round so soon? Yes, the two Marks discuss their impending deadline and their pre-publication marketing strategy with their usual calm, professional manner… and they finally reveal the title of their novel!

In this episode you will discover:
 
- Strategies for choosing a title
- The process of choosing and working with a cover designer
- How to create a publication plan
- And how you can get quotes and blurbs from beta readers and other authors

Get your free ebook with advice and tips from million-selling authors at: http://www.bestsellerexperiment.com

Sep 8, 2017

Samantha King is a bestselling debut novelist, and her book The Choice taps into parental fears. Sam has also worked in publishing and has a unique perspective on the process of writing, editing, publishing and promoting a bestseller…

In this episode you will discover:
 
- How you can discover your story’s true intent through rewrites
- The subject you should study to become a better writer (and it isn’t creative writing!)
- How to cope with those first reader reviews.
- How you can build compelling characters.

Get your free ebook with advice and tips from million-selling authors at: http://www.bestsellerexperiment.com

Aug 31, 2017

A very special episode with an amazing opportunity for writers. Find out more here: https://gingerbread.org.uk/content/2454/One-in-four-new-writer-competition
 
In this episode you will discover:
 
- How sharing your story can change social stigma
- Tips on finding time to write
- How to find the courage to tell your own story
- And tips from editor Sam Eades on writing second drafts

Get your free ebook with advice and tips from million-selling authors at: http://www.bestsellerexperiment.com

Aug 27, 2017

As the two Marks gear-up for publication, it’s suddenly dawned on them that they will have to market and sell their novel! Who better to turn to for advice than the folk at Bookbub, whose newsletter can boost a book up the bestseller charts? And we also bust a few myths and misconceptions about this game-changing mailing list…
 
In this episode you will discover:
 
- How a book’s metadata will affect its visibility online
- Tips on how to master the dark art of online marketing 
- And where to find help if you’re daunted by all this!
- And why you should build a dream team.

Get your free ebook with advice and tips from million-selling authors at: http://www.bestsellerexperiment.com

Aug 20, 2017

The two Marks have met with their editor. Sit in on one of their story sessions as they go through their notes, and discover the huge change that they will have to make to improve their chances of marketing a bestseller with less than two months to go!

In this episode you will discover:

- How you can make the most of an editor’s notes and feedback
- How a synopsis, blurb and shout line can help your edit
- How your opening can make or break your novel
- How an editor can help hone your style

Get your free ebook with advice and tips from million-selling authors at: http://www.bestsellerexperiment.com

Aug 14, 2017

In the second part of this conversation between the two Marks before their book goes to their editor, they wonder if it will survive the edit, or does the experiment end here?

In this episode you will discover:

- Why you should try and make scenes work harder before discarding them
- Why giving ideas time to marinade is so important
- Some tips on how to generate a title for your book
- The importance of an author’s name and should you use a pseudonym?
- And why it can be good to be forced to make decisions.

Get your free ebook with advice and tips from million-selling authors at: http://www.bestsellerexperiment.com

Aug 5, 2017

The two Marks are recording in the same room! Will universes collide? Will they reveal any more about their damn book? They talk about research, reconnoitring locations, and more in the first of a two-parter...

In this episode you will discover:

- Tips for speaking to experts for research
- The importance of a critical path and the consequences of missing deadlines
- The benefits of actually going to a place for research, over just looking on Google Earth
- The importance of keeping the tone even, resisting cheap gags and gaining the confidence to cut material
- What you should never say to an author, and why changing the name of a character can be a bad idea…

Get your free ebook with advice and tips from million-selling authors at: http://www.bestsellerexperiment.com

Jul 28, 2017

Katherine May is an award-winning writer, blogger and the programme director of creative writing at Canterbury, Christ Church University. She is an extraordinary talent, makes a mean gin cocktail, and has an incredible series of books coming in the next year…

In this episode you will discover:

- The pros and cons of writing under a pseudonym
- The importance of celebrating milestones
- Top tips for tackling procrastination
- And how a nice, long walk can not only improve your writing, but change your life

Get your free ebook with advice and tips from million-selling authors at: http://www.bestsellerexperiment.com

Jul 15, 2017

Martina Cole is the undisputed queen of British crime fiction. She’s sold over 14 million books and her novels regularly top the Sunday Times bestsellers. She’s come a long way from being told ‘Women don’t write these kinds of books.’ We were delighted to speak on the eve of publication of her new paperback Betrayal.

In this episode you will discover:

- How writing for yourself and not an audience can help you break out
- Why you should think twice about burning your old manuscripts
- Why it’s okay to steer away from your outline
- And a top tip for editing!

Get your free ebook with advice and tips from million-selling authors at: http://www.bestsellerexperiment.com

Jul 13, 2017

Jennifer Niven is a phenomenally successful YA novelist. All The Bright Places was a Goodreads Choice Award winner and is now being adapted for film starring Elle Fanning. We spoke to Jennifer not long after her tour of Australia and New Zealand…

In this episode you will discover:

- How bravery and honesty can only improve your writing
- How your characters can teach you about the story
- How to storyboard your book with a music mood board
- And a great solution for parents trying to write with kids running around the house!

Get your free ebook with advice and tips from million-selling authors at: http://www.bestsellerexperiment.com

Jul 6, 2017

We’ve done it, we’ve finished our first draft! After months of writing — and that outline — we discuss what it means to reach this milestone, and what we can expect from the next draft, and we reveal more about our novel… including its working title!

In this episode you will discover:

- Why it’s okay for your first draft to be imperfect
- The importance of a deadline
- Rewrite techniques
- And we have a special request for our listeners

Get your free ebook with advice and tips from million-selling authors at: http://www.bestsellerexperiment.com

Jul 3, 2017

Deon is a bestselling thriller writer from South Africa whose books have been translated into 20 languages, but with his latest book Fever. he has written a post-apocalyptic epic with a big heart..

In this episode you will discover:

- Why struggle is a positive not a negative
- Why genre shouldn’t matter when you’re writing
- Why finishing your first draft is so important
- And why your brother telling you you’re rubbish should not hold you back from success!

Get your free ebook with advice and tips from million-selling authors at: http://www.bestsellerexperiment.com

Jun 26, 2017

Laura Barnett’s 2015 debut The Versions Of Us was a smash hit, a number one bestseller, and translated into 23 languages. Now she faces that difficult second album syndrome, but Laura has come up with an ingenious solution and a unique piece of fiction.

In this episode you will discover:

- How music can inspire your writing
- The balance between respecting the reader and writing for yourself
- How the first fifteen minutes of your day can be the most creative
- How collaboration with an artist in another medium can unlock untapped talents

Get your free ebook with advice and tips from million-selling authors at: http://www.bestsellerexperiment.com

Jun 17, 2017

 

A children’s fiction special. We talk with Karen Ball who has published some of the bestselling children’s series of the last twenty years, including the Beast Quest which has sold over 11m copies. Recently featured as a 2017 Rising Star in the Bookseller, Karen is the former Little, Brown for Young Readers publisher. She is now a consultant at Speckled Pen  (working with OUP, Hachette Children's and Parragon) as well as an expert in intellectual property.

In this episode you will discover:

- How children’s series are commissioned
- The importance of plot in children’s books
- How to start planning your career as a writer
- The importance of respecting your readers

Get your free ebook with advice and tips from million-selling authors at: http://www.bestsellerexperiment.com

Jun 9, 2017

How do you touch the heart of your readers? We get emotional over tea and cake with bestselling author Erica James. Erica has sold over 5 million copies of over twenty books, is winner of the Romantic Novel of the Year Award, and she never fails to break her readers’ hearts. We discover how she does it…

In this episode you will discover:

- Why it’s so important to write from the heart
- How talking to strangers can make you characters more interesting
- The importance of trusting your instincts
- How to know when your book isn’t working and how to fix it

Get your free ebook with advice and tips from million-selling authors at: http://www.bestsellerexperiment.com

 

 

 

Jun 2, 2017

In the second part of our interview with Susan Kaye Quinn, we talk about how to launch your book, pre-orders, fan-service, promoting your books, the dark art of blurbs, the power of tropes and mythology.

In this episode you will discover:

-The ideal model for debut pre-orders.
- How long you should promote your book for.
- How to make your blurbs work harder.
- And how to use tropes to satisfy your readers.

Get your free ebook with advice and tips from million-selling authors at: http://www.bestsellerexperiment.com

May 29, 2017

Susan Kaye Quinn is not only a genuine rocket scientist, but she’s also a bestselling indie author in fiction and non-fiction. She runs the incredible For Love Or Money Facebook group, a resource for indie authors to get help with all those questions you might otherwise be afraid to ask. This is Part One of a special two-parter.

In this episode you will discover…

  • Why you should be clear what your goals are
  • Why you should formulate a five year plan to achieve those goals
  • How you can make your advertising budget a revenue generator and not a cost#
  • And the importance of newsletters such as Bookbub

Get your free ebook with advice and tips from million-selling authors at: http://www.bestsellerexperiment.com

May 22, 2017

Mark Edwards is the bestselling author of over two million psychological thrillers such as The Magpies. Mark is an author who has been self-published, traditionally-published, and is now one of Amazon’s 'Thomas & Mercer' imprint’s bestselling authors with five number one bestsellers. His extraordinary story will be an inspiration to any writer who’s ever faced rejection, bad publishing, bad agents, and financial ruin!

In this episode you will discover:

- Why tenacity may be one of the best traits of any writer
- Why you don’t necessarily have to write a series to be a bestselling author
- Why the only marketing that matters is the marketing you can measure
- How changing your book’s description copy can double your sales!

Get your free ebook with advice and tips from million-selling authors at: http://www.bestsellerexperiment.com

May 15, 2017

John Yorke is one of the world's leading lights in the art of storytelling. As former head of Channel Four Drama, Controller of BBC Drama Production and head of Company Pictures, he has worked on shows like Shameless, Life On Mars, and the UK’s most popular soap opera EastEnders. He is also the author of Into The Woods, one of our favourite books on the craft of storytelling.

In this episode you will discover…

  • The most effective ways to use structure in your story
  • How to create compelling characters
  • Quick fixes for conveying exposition
  • The importance of a good cliffhanger
May 8, 2017

The two Marks discuss the progress of their novel so far, and Mr. Stay recalls a piece of advice he received from Julie Cohen after he finished recording his interview with her…

In this episode you will discover:

- The best strategy for when you get stuck with your writing

- Why stepping out of your comfort zone will improve your story

- If you should ever give up on a project

- Why bad reviews hurt and why you shouldn’t worry about them

Get your free ebook with advice and tips from million-selling authors at: http://www.bestsellerexperiment.com

Apr 30, 2017

We get lawyered-up in this fascinating episode where we talk to a pair of top entertainment lawyers: Keith Mathieson is an expert in defamation and privacy law, and Paul Joseph specialises in intellectual property cases and we quizzed them on the pitfalls authors should look out for when writing.

In this episode you will discover:

- If you can include song lyrics in your book
- If you can use product placement in your writing
- If you can put real people in your novel
- If you can copyright an idea

Get your free ebook with advice and tips from million-selling authors at: http://www.bestsellerexperiment.com

 

 

Apr 22, 2017

Julie Cohen is the author of over twenty novels, including the Richard & Judy bestseller Dear Thing. She also teaches creative writing workshops and is a goldmine of writing wisdom.

Apr 17, 2017

David Shelley is the CEO of Orion Publishing and the Little, Brown Publishing Group, he started as an editor, working with some major talents including Iain Banks, Val McDermid and JK Rowling, and he talked to us about the future of the publishing industry.

In this episode you will discover:

- The personality traits and habits of successful authors
- What major publishers look for in an author and how you can stand out from the crowd
- How major publishers are looking to mentor and attract a more diverse workforce and author list.
-Why authors should maybe get someone else to write their blurbs and titles

Get your free ebook with advice and tips from million-selling authors at: http://www.bestsellerexperiment.com

Apr 8, 2017

Kate Harrison is a rare breed. A fiction and non-fiction award-winning author who used her insight experience with the BBC to produce a huge bestselling series of non-fiction diet and lifestyle books. We discuss with Kate about her phenomenally successful 5:2 Diet series, how she straddles the life as both a fiction and non-fiction author, and how her experience on shows like Panorama have shaped her storytelling.

In this episode you will discover:

- How to channel your personal experience and passion into your work

- How to use search results to discover a market for your book and connect with your readers

- How you can apply the classic hero’s journey to your non-fiction writing

- How writing your book’s blurb first will help you stay on track

- Some great tips for newsletter content

Get your free ebook with advice and tips from million-selling authors at: http://www.bestsellerexperiment.com

 

Apr 2, 2017

We answer one of the most common questions we get on our quest: What is a bestseller? We spoke to Sara Mulryan of Nielsen Bookscan, the people who gather the data for the UK charts and made some fascinating discoveries.

In this episode you will discover:

- How book sales data feeds into different charts
- Why you should pay close attention to your book’s genre, and which ones are the most popular
- What you can get out of events like the London Book Fair
- The best time of year, week and time of day to publish your book

Get your free ebook with advice and tips from million-selling authors at: http://www.bestsellerexperiment.com

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