This is undoubtedly any authors dream…reaching that elusive best seller list, and there is no list to show you are the top of your game than the New York Times. They are the list to reach, and many authors, myself included, often wonder ‘how do I get there?’.
So, I decided to do some research on best sellers lists, tips and tricks, and have to admit I have been a little surprised by what I found. There is not necessarily a standard number of books you need to sell to reach this list, or any best seller ranking. Which only makes the feat that much more confusing. It is literally like the Oscars for writers.
So, here is what I have found:
These are just a few of the things I found in my little search. It is also relevant to note that NYT and Amazon are NOT the only lists to strive for. There are actually many more than I realized, such as:
So, if you don’t make the coveted NYT list, don’t despair. There are plenty of lists to strive for! But you need to do your homework!
Learn how to market your work, learn when the best time to release is to meet your goal, if your goal is to make one of these lists, and most of all, promotion is key. Just as with any sales, making people aware of your book before it is released is just as important as your book itself! Make them aware, make them excited, and make them want to buy it the second it hits the shelf.
Social media is an excellent forum for this kind of promotion. Look at fellow Wattpad Authors Estelle Maskame and Anna Todd. They are incredibly active on Twitter and other medias, hinting at releases, engaging with readers and fans, and promoting their work.
Being an author is more than just sitting at your computer and writing. It is work. It is a full time job in many ways. And, in reality, most of us won’t make a best seller list. That doesn’t mean our work isn’t amazing and valuable. And it certainly doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep trying to reach those goals!
Book Promotion Hub. (n.d.) How Many Books do you Need to Sell to be a Best Seller? Retrieved from http://www.bookpromotionhub.com/6103/how-many-books-do-you-need-to-sell-to-become-a-bestseller/
Writers Digest. (2014). 5 Tips for Hitting Bestseller Lists. Retrieved from http://www.writersdigest.com/online-editor/tips-for-hitting-best-sellers-lists
This has been a rather lovely week for me, writing wise. Wednesday I was fortunate enough to be featured by Fangirlish as their Wattpad Writer of the week, and today they have gone further and reviewed Her Royal Highness!
Now, the book is only about half finished, but so far, they seem pleased!
Check out the feature, or read it below!
We’re back with another amazing wattpad story. This week, we feature “Her Royal Highness” by kristimcm, an amazing author we’re obsessesing over, and who was our wattpad writer or the week aswell.
Our Blurb: An amazing and different story where you’re able to see what it would be like to be a princess and it isn’t going to be like on the fairy tales.
Overall Rating: 5/5
What We Liked: I love the fact that this story is about royalty because I’ve never read anything like it, so it’s different, Charlotte is not what your typical princess would be, and I’m in love with guardian Harry so much already. I love how the characters are presented and also enjoy how detail everything is.
What We Didn’t Like: Honestly there is nothing I don’t like so far, Kristi is winning me over with this story as much as her other series!
Hot Guy Rating: Guardian Harry is a 10 from me.Overall Thoughts: Although the story is just beggining you can tell it’s gonna be an amazing one and I’m totally looking fordward to see how it’s gonna end up.
Overall Thoughts: Although the story is just beginning you can tell it’s gonna be an amazing one and I’m totally looking fordward to see how it’s gonna end up.
Today on Fangirlish.com I answer questions about writing, inspiration, and what is to come next!
Wattpad Writer Spotlight: KristimcmHi guys! We’re back with another amazing author of Wattpad, this week we talked with Kristi, who has been on Wattpad for just over a year and has over 10 books!
When did you start writing on Wattpad?
I started writing on Wattpad in 2014, I believe. I had started off on Archive of our Own, but had heard quite a bit about the Wattpad community via Twitter and decided to check it out. I have found it to be an amazing forum for writers to test the waters and meet others with the same interests.
What made you decide start posting your work on Wattpad?
I had already posted a few one shots and one full length fan fiction on AO3, and decided to try out Wattpad as an alternative. The forum seemed to be higher traffic and more interactive than I had experienced in the online writing world so far, and I wanted to branch out.
What made Wattpad the best outlet for your writing?
The community itself! Everyone from the other writers, to the readers, and even the staff at headquarters are supportive and encouraging. It is more than just read counts; it is comments, suggestions for improvements, and more. It has been the best possibly community for me to test the waters of writing.
Why is it that you write?
The freedom to lose yourself in your own world, I suppose. I love reading, and getting lost in another life. Writing is the same, but it is a world you create yourself. You control everything that happens; everything said. It is a freedom I haven’t yet experience with any other medium.
Do you want to be an author?
Definitely. I have been actively seeking literary agent and/or publisher representation over the last few months. It is much more difficult than people assume, as there are SO many other writers going for the same goals, with a limited number of spaces annually for new clients with agents and publishers.
I recently entered the submit2sourcebooks initiative through Wattpad, and am waiting to hear through them.
If you could give any advice to a Wattpad writer, what would it be?
Just write. I know that sounds kind of silly, but that is the most basic thing. Just write what you think, what you feel. There are no limits!
What fandom do you think that you would never write about?
I’m not sure. Sometimes I have little story ideas come up about shows I watch; even recently Making a Murderer! But in terms of fandoms, I don’t think I could write a Justin Beiber story. I’m not really a fan, and to write, I think you need to connect with the person to portray them justly.
What fandom do you want to write about?
Currently, I write mainly One Direction fiction. Only one story is of them as they are, the rest being alternate universe. Eventually I would like to branch out to Mortal Instruments, maybe something random like Walking Dead. There are so many options.
What made you decide to write fan fiction?
I had written a bit of fan fiction back when I was younger, in the NSync days. They were popular back then, even before the world of social media and online writing was what it is now. When I started becoming a 1D fan, I kept thinking of little story lines that went along with them. Eventually, I just started to write them down, and it grew from there.
Who are your favorite published authors?
JK Rowling – I love the world she created with Harry Potter, mixing real life challenges of love and finding yourself with a magical twist
Cassandra Clare – The cross of angels and demons, and how there is an entire other world just beyond an invisible veil from our own is exciting!
Vincent Lam – a personal friend and prize winning author whom I worked with in the ER for many years; he was the first one to make me consider really writing for myself.
What’s the best comment that you ever received from a reader?
There have been so many. The readers who have taken the time to read my work have been so incredible and kind. I’ve had some say that Afterlife was the best fiction they had read on Wattpad, others saying that it rivaled their love for Anna Todd’s After. Anyone to takes time to write to me has been so supportive and I appreciate it so much!
Who are your favorite Wattpad writers?
Anna Todd, to start. I loved the first book of the After series, and it was actually her that gave me the final push in to writing 1D fiction. She has also been incredibly supportive and helpful to me in finding my own publishing path
There are so many that I love; @chanmapan, @jhildey, @hesinstripes, @EstelleMaskame…SO many
Tell us about a story you’ve written that you’re most proud of and why people should be reading it.
I hate to play favorites with any of my work, but I have to admit that I am partial to Afterlife. I think the story line is unique, while at the same time it parallels a real relationship. They don’t meet and fall in love in the course of a week. It is a true progression, with angst, back and forth, and challenges just like any relationship. The final installment throws them for a curve, but it makes them stronger. I like how it turned out, and the response has been amazing.
Do you ever write from experience?
I have. Some parts of various works are from life experience. The trip Harry and Aubrey take to the Bahamas in Through the Dark is actually my own honeymoon. The trip to Somalia that Lane embarks on in Afterlife: Reincarnation shows some cases that I faced while working as a nurse on a medical brigade team several years ago. Life really is like that in some areas, and I have seen it. I wanted to bring that to life through my fiction as best I could.
Have you made friends thanks to being an author on Wattpad?
YES! I have actually become close with several of my readers and other writers on Wattpad. @Hes_the_1 has been an incredible supporter since I started, the same with @chanmapan. Other writers such as @hesinstripes, @styles_orama and others have become amazing friends!
Do you have any more stories planned to post on Wattpad?
I have a few actually. I am currently writing another AU 1D (Harry Styles) fiction called Her Royal Highness. I only started it about 10 days ago, and it has already surpassed 1100 reads, which is amazing to me. I have a couple other ideas for future work, so have a feeling 2016 will be a busy writing year for me!
So that is it for my interview with Kristi! Thanks for accepting to be a part of this! It was a great time getting to know you :).
Everyone please check out www.fangirlish.com for amazing interviews, articles and features on books, movies and everything we love to fangirl over!
Generally, I try and stay out of any online drama, whether within the writing world, and most definitely in the One Direction fandom. I am not a fan of drama, as from my experience, it causes nothing more than stress, sleepless nights and digestive issues.
However, several days ago I scrolled passed a tweet that irked me. While it irked me, I continued to scroll, deciding to do my usual mantra of 'ignore the dickheads out there'. However, since that day I have seen that countless others have responded to this irksome tweet, so much so as to even start a trend about it.
The tweet was by Tom Harlock, in response to another tweeters message of finishing their book. Tom's tweet was simple:
"alife, fanfic on wattpad isnt a book"
The backlash from said tweet has resulted in the growing #WattpadBooksAreBooksToo campaign.
Now, admittedly, I have NO idea who Tom Harlock is. And I couldnt care less. Not from a bitter, angry place, but from a place of 'there are too many people with narrow minds to worry myself with all of them.'
Since his tweet, countless Wattpad community members, writers and readers have taken to the now frequently noticed on my timeline #WattpadBooksAreRealBooksToo. In response to this, let me go over my own writing process.
1) Usually, before I even start writing, I have an idea floating around in my head. This could be for a few weeks, sometimes (as in the case of Through the Dark) months. Its not usually a whole story line with dialogue, descriptive scenes and all that. Mostly, its a scene here. A comment there. Very general with no real meat to the proverbial bones just yet.
2) Once I finally feel like I have enough of these little one liners and scenes to compile them to a book, it doesnt mean I start writing yet. Oh, no. The next step is to make plot plan, or at least that is what I refer to them as. I outline the main aspects of the book that I have so far, to see how it will play out. I go over this for several days, sometimes weeks, filling in more detail as it comes to me, making changes, moving things around. Again, no actual writing yet, and its probably already been a month. This plot plan is then shown to my closest group of friends via Whatsapp. The purpose of this is to get immediate and honest responses on the overall concept, and most important aspects of the book. If they dont feel it, I either scrap it, or make changes based on their responses. They are my first round of editors, in a way.
3) Now, I get to writing. Usually, I try and write a chapter a night, depending on my work schedule and life. During the day, the chapters form in my head, dialogue, progression etc, and at night, I write. I have to write at night, in my bed, as I am right now. I simply cannot be creative in any form before the noon hour, and even then it takes me a while to feel confident in what I am about to put on paper. The writing process itself is like running an obstacle course. At times it is all going smooth, things are flowing, you're on a roll. Then, sometimes, you hit a wall. A complete uphill climb that you just cant seem to see over. This is usually when I take a break, step back for a day or so, and let the story come back to me. Forcing this writers block will only result in chapters you end up hating, and could effect the rest of the book. Once on level ground again, you're off and running. But it is work, things change, the plot plan is sometimes completely abandoned, and other times things come to you as you are writing that you never considered before. This entire process could take a month, to six months, depending on your dedication, time and progress.
4) Once I'm done, it is like a wave of relief. I can feel it physically, emotionally, mentally. I put my laptop aside, and ignore it for days afterwards. I need to step away from the entire process once it is complete, to clear my mind.
5) Now, the most hated part of any writers process: editing. I will admit, even though it probably isnt necessary, that I dont edit chapters before posting them on Wattpad. I write, then post. I dont edit for spelling or grammar, and therefore have plenty of errors. When I say I edit my work, it is after printing a standard manuscript version, and going over it with a red pen. I do this, because once I have finished a book, I like to have a printed copy, just for myself. Something tangible and in my hands. For alot of authors, they do this editing process before even posting their chapters, or maybe afterwards by going through it all online. Everyone has a different way, but this process is even longer than the writing process in some cases, because you have to be much more focused and meticulous.
And that is it. All of this, usually, takes about two to six months, hundreds of hours, countless sleepless nights of jumping up to write down another idea or line. It is listening to the reactions and comments of your readers, and trying to give them what they want. It is literally putting a part of yourself on a page, baring yourself vulnerably, then posting it online for others to read, review and critique.
My books are a part of me, and I am very proud of them. Even if they never make it to the shelves of Barnes and Noble, no one can take away the time, effort and creativity I have put in them.
There may have only been a few success stories from the fanfic world: 50 Shades of Grey, After, etc. But let me point out, that these are two of the most popular and world renowned books of the last few years. Grossing millions in sales and becoming anticipated and successful films. There are even more still within the depths of Wattpad, gathering reads, fans and attention, which are just as good, just as captivating and have just as much potential just waiting to be shown to the world. Yes, they may star Harry Styles or Dylan O'Brien, but that does not diminish their quality and impact.
So, allow me to respectfully correct you Tom Harlock: Fanfictions are most definitely books. Because a book, in its most basic form, a collection of words, printed, to be shared with others.
And that is what Wattpad, and the works feature on it, is.
I've decided to do another review, since it has been ages since I've done one. I have a few books I have been toying with sharing my thoughts on, but last night I watched the Mortal Instruments inspired TV series Shadowhunters premiere episode, and am compelled to share my thoughts.
Before I continue, please remember these thoughts and views are my own, and do not reflect those of anyone other than myself. Feel free to disagree with my take on the show, as differing opinions are what make the world go round in such a colorful way. But please voice your opinions in a respectful way, as I intend to do with my review.
With the niceties out of the way, shall I begin?
For those of you who may be unfamiliar with the premise of the show, I will give you a little run down to start. It is based on the spectacularly popular Cassandra Clare novels, City of Bones, City of Ash, City of Glass, etc, etc. They have the typical young girl, Clary, who thinks shes normal and boring, only to find out that she is actually from a line of demon hunters, called Shadowhunters. There are vampires, warlocks, werewolves and the like, but mainly, it is a love story between this 'ordinary girl' finding her way in this world and the catalyst to her discovery, the charming, self appreciative and descriptively stunning Jace (along with cohorts Alec and Isabelle). Its all fun and games, saving the world, combating a returned-from-the-dead father hell bent on taking over the world, being told her and Jace are brother and sister (only to discover several books later that was a lie...the broken make the best followers...), discovering her true brother who is just as much of a psychopath as her father, a little threatening of world safety, a visit to hell, and back again. All in all, good times had by all.
Like most popular young adult literary series, the books were slated to be made in to motion pictures. The first, the Mortal Instruments starring Lily Collins as Clary and Jamie Campbell Bower in the role of Jace, was a fun watch, but as with most book-to-film adaptations, some changes were too far from the line and left me frustrated. It would seem I wasnt the only one less than impressed, as the movie failed to recoup its budget, and the rest of the films were dropped.
Now, I need to start off by saying I love, love, LOVE these books. I read them all a while ago, buying the final instalment, City of Heavenly Fire, not long after it came out. But as I usually have a rule of not reading others works while writing my own, it sat in my bedroom for months before I read it during my writing hiatus. I found myself thrown back in to the world of demons and angels, and loved every minute of it to the point where I am re-reading the series even while writing my current novel.
So, when I heard that the series was now going to be made in to a TV series, I was irrationally excited. I was counting down the days until the premiere, with reminders in my phone, and my night from work cleared. I was irritated beyond belief to find out it wasnt aired in Canada on premiere night January 12, but found it on NetFlix not long after. Oh joy!
And therefore, that was my indulgence last night. My reward for writing a new chapter for my own work, I let myself get lost in the world of Clare's masterpiece. But the excitement was short lived, as within the first few minutes, I was already thinking 'Well, that isnt right'...or 'nope, wrong'...and alot of 'are you f*cking kidding me'. Only ten minutes in, and I found myself anxious for it to end.
Here is a little run down
- Clary - Katherine McNamara is a perfect fit for this character. She is pretty, without being stunning, much like Clary is described in the book. Very natural, and I found myself liking her quickly
- The settings - Shot in Toronto, I loved the use of the spaces they chose. As a Toronto native myself, I found myself excitedly watching for areas and neighbourhoods I knew, such as the distillery district. As the books are set in New York City, the use of these spaces was well done, and fit the scenes well
- General casting - overall, I felt the casting was well suited. All readers of the books have preconceived notions of how these characters look, and generally, I felt the choices they made in the main staples were pretty good. Not amazing, but good. Although, I was annoyed at the lack of 'Hodge', the Shadowhunter tutor, and eventual trust breaker.
- Dialogue - It wasnt long before I was groaning 'oh for the love of God' and cringing at the unrealistic and contrived exchanges between basically every character in the show. The conversations in the book are natural and real, which is part of its draw. It makes you feel connected, as the characters talk the talk of the people, so to speak. The TV show...not so much.
- Exaggerations - For those familiar with the books, you will now that Shadowhunters are not just normal humans. Runes etched on their skin give them a little kick, such as strength, sure footedness, and even invisibility from the mundanes (normal human folk). But the show pushes it a little further, immediately having the mains jumping tall buildings, skittering so fast they are no more than a blur, and other exaggerations that were the first things to put me off the show...all within the first few minutes
- The Institute - in the novels, the home base for these demon destroyers is a cross between an impressive and regal church mixed against a freaky sort of boarding school. Training rooms, dorms, weapons rooms...all within the confines of the Institute, which is overseen by Alec and Izzys parents. The main characters and their direct relatives are the only ones who live in this haven for the saviours, and its barren status is part of the storyline. They are running out of Shadowhunters...the world will be doomed! However, TV show features a full house of sorts; Shadowhunters with high tech gear, surveillance equipment etc. Another MAJOR faux pas in my opinion
- Pace - Anyone want to play 'How Many Characters Can We Fit in to One Hour?' Because that is exactly what this first episode felt like. You are introduced to so many characters, you cant keep them straight. Include trying to fit in all their personalities, characteristics, hints at future connections, and links to each other, I was spinning and I already knew the story!
- Chernobyl - Okay, but really? Do I even need to say anything else here? The appearance of Clary (and for a short time, Jace) father, Valentine, is supposed to be at the end of the first book, after a betrayal by their trusted tutor and confidant, Hodge. The lack of Hodge seems to only make it necessary to introduce evil ol Val early on, hiding out in the ruins of the most famous nuclear disaster in history. *droll applause*
- Maureen - Another part of the show where I was left groaning. Book Maureen is a thirteen year old girl obsessed with Simon (Clary's mundane best friend turned vampire turned back in to mundane turned Shadowhunter trainee). Maureen gets turned into a vampire, like Simon, which causes her to go a little coo-coo. But in the show, she is of equal age, friends and bandmates with Simon, and hopelessly in love with him (just as Simon is with Clary). Aw, unrequited love...
There are so many other things I could point out / complain about with this show that I could have a Guiness Book of World Record length blog post about it all, but I will stop here.
Overall, my high hopes for this show were dashed quickly and thoroughly. I was relieved when it was over, feeling a strange mixture of annoyance and sorrow at how Hollywood could take yet another fool proof money maker and bugger it right up.
What did we learn, kids?
When you're handed a book loved by millions, just stick to it. You're given the plot, the dialogue, the scenes and the settings. Dont stray from what readers love, dont take out essentials, dont add your own flare. You've been handed a completed work. USE IT!
As most of you know, I have been actively seeking representation with literary agents and/or publishers for my books. So many of you have been begging me to get published, and trust me, I am working hard! lol.
At the suggestion of the wonderful Samantha at Wattpad headquarters, I have entered the Afterlife trilogy, the Through the Dark trilogy, and September in to the submit2sourcebooks event on Wattpad.
Sourcebooks is a publishing company based out of Chicago, who has teamed up with Wattpad to give their writers and new, inventive, and direct way to submit their work for consideration. It is an ingenious idea and I am hoping to be considered!
I will keep you all posted on any progress on this front, but in the mean time, if you have any work of your own you want to submit, here is the information!
PS. Feel free to let @sourcebooks know if you loved Afterlife, Through the Dark or September and think they should publish them! A little nudge never hurt lol
This week is quite exciting! Thanks to an amazing reader, @sunshinestyles94, Through the Dark trilogy has been nominated for the Wattpad Fanfiction Awards!
Nominations run from January 10-30, with the top 6 fictions in each category being semi finalists. Voting will take place after that!
Nominations are not closed yet, so if you have other stories, series or authors you want to nominate, do it now!
Here is the link to the information on how the awards will work!
Again, thank you so much to @sunshinestyles94 for the nominations!
Sugarscape has recently started a monthly feature of fan fictions they recommend, and are starting off January with 10 One Direction FanFics Worth reading.
Imagine my surprise when I receive a message from Wattpad informing me that AFTERLIFE is one of the recommended stories! Needless to say, I had a massive fangirl moment, cried a little, and emailed everyone I know.
Check out the feature, as well as the other recommended works!
*yes, I am aware they typo'd my wattpad user name*
As some may know, Wattpad has recently promoted a KIK Harry Styles boyfriend app, where you can have conversations with a virtual Harold. Every girls dream.
Funny enough, while a friend was using this app, 'Harry' recommended Afterlife! Needless to say, I giggled.
Now, if only I could figure out how to use the app myself!
And so it begins...
I asked what my new book should be, and YOU have chosen what you want! My latest novel has been started and posted on Wattpad, with the first chapter ready to read! It was a nice feeling to lose myself in my head again, typing everything I saw as thought it were a movie.
I'm hoping to update fairly regularly, so keep posted on new updates
In the meantime, check out Chapter One, and here is the cover reveal!
Random thoughts from me on books, writing, news and more!