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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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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.

Aug 17, 2020

Emmy winners and BAFTA-nominated, Huckerby & Ostler are one of the most successful TV writing partnerships around, and with their new novel, Defender Of The Realm, they’ve created a fantastic children’s adventure series.

Aug 10, 2020

Rachel Winters’ debut novel Would Like to Meet is an Amazon bestseller with rights sold in 14 territories and there was a big Hollywood auction for the film rights. Rachel tells us how her background as an editor enabled her to think of the book as 360 degree project — digital, audio and film — to help make it such a success.

Aug 5, 2020

Paul Ardoin talks us through the preparations he made for the promotion — including rewriting the opening of his first novel — and how he made the most of the promotion to increase sales across the whole series.

Aug 3, 2020

How do you research your books? Michelle Paver has written eighteen novels, including the bestselling Chronicles Of Ancient Darkness. She’s encountered killer whales, wolves, polar bears and a runaway Yak, all in the name of research.

Jul 27, 2020

Writing can be a solitary occupation, but it doesn’t have to be that way. The Two Marks discuss how accountability has helped them in their writing and offer six tips to help you focus on your writing, become more productive, and finish that book.

Jul 20, 2020

Have you every wondered how important your “Voice” is as a writer? This week on The Bestseller Experiment podcast, New York Times success Maria Semple tells us just how essential your voice is. Maria was recently named a “Power Author” by the Hollywood Reporter, putting her alongside such giants as JK Rowling and George RR Martin. Maria started as a screenwriter. Her book, Where’d You Go, Bernadette? spent over a year on the New York Times bestsellers. Her new book “Tomorrow Will Be Different” was announced as a TV series with Julia Roberts as the lead. She spoke to us about the things that stop us writing truthfully.

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