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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: general
Feb 22, 2021

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 quiz them on the pitfalls authors should look out for when writing.

Feb 19, 2021

Maria Dismondy is the author of inspirational and award-winning children’s books such as Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun, she is also the CEO of Cardinal Rule Press, a publisher dedicated to diversity and inclusiveness in children’s publishing. Maria tells us what inspired her to write, why she started her own publishing house, how she built her team and the first person she hired (and fired!), and the challenges she has faced during lockdown.

Feb 15, 2021

DV Bishop’s historical thriller debut City of Vengeance vividly takes the reader to 1530s Renaissance Florence. Writing historical fiction creates all kinds of challenges and DV Bishop tells us how it’s okay to not know everything about your chosen historical period, and why it might be a good idea to resist writing straight away...

In this episode you will discover:

Tips for historical research and exposition
Why you should let your characters drive the plot
The pros and cons of outlining and pantsing
Mr. Stay discusses his online book launches and blog tours

Feb 8, 2021

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. Julie shares some insights that are game-changers when it comes to writing, from dealing with failure to planning and storytelling. Her latest novel Together is featured on the BBC’s list of books to watch out for in 2017.

Feb 1, 2021

Some chancer called Mark Stay hijacks the podcast to shamelessly plug his new novel The Crow Folk. He gets all evasive about listener questions, refuses to discuss his murky past and almost storms out of the show… three times. Nevertheless, Mark Desvaux manages to pin him down and gets the answers we all want, not least: how can I get a bar of that Crow Folk chocolate? We also have an exclusive clip from The Crow Folk audiobook read by Candida Gubbins. Many thanks to Simon & Schuster UK for the clip.

We discuss:

Choosing and developing ideas
Working with agents and editors
Writing non-sweary period dialogue
Comparing Mr Stay’s experiences in traditional publishing, self-publishing and crowdfunding
And how you really can get your hands on that chocolate...

Jan 27, 2021

John Jarrold is a literary agent and editor who has worked with the likes of Michael Moorcock, Guy Gavriel Kay and John Courtney Grimwood. He answers our Patreon and Academates’ questions on pitching to agents, common mistakes, how self-published authors can approach agents, genres, self-representation and editorial tips on point-of-view, dialogue, words to avoid and more.

Jan 25, 2021

Bestselling indie author Caimh McDonnell makes a triumphant return to the podcast as Transworld author CK McDonnell with his new novel Stranger Times. Caimh tells us how he took everything he learned as an indie author to pitch this book to traditional publishers. We discuss launching a book during lockdown, inventive book marketing ideas, why selling humour is tricky, and being a squeaky wheel...

Jan 18, 2021

Rich Leder is a screenwriter and novelist who tells us why our brains are always lying to us, why he writes with the door open (even with young kids running around), why finishing is so important, and why — despite all that’s going on in our lives — we should write anyway. And he reassures us that his latest book — Cooking for Cannibals — is a work of fiction. We think.

Jan 16, 2021

Welcome to the first of our occasional Academy All-Stars mini episodes, where we talk to writers who have joined our academy and have done something extraordinary. JW Atkinson is a writer and teacher who in 2020 wrote 52 stories — one a week! — for his Patreon followers. JW tells us how he has been using writing as part of his healing process after an accident and how the academy is helping him achieve his writing dreams.

Discover more about the academy here: https://academy.bestsellerexperiment.com

And you will find JW Atkinson's writing here: https://jwatkinsonauthor.com

Jan 11, 2021

International bestselling author Michele Campbell’s new novel The Wife Who Knew Too Much combines thrills and glamour. Michele talks to us about the balance between plot and character, the importance of editors, breaks in writing, and making writing one of your top priorities in life.

Jan 4, 2021

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.

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”.

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