Writing the Bestseller offers practical advice and wisdom from a dozen successful authors who have sold hundreds of thousands of books, experiencing all the ups and downs of the publishing industry. What to do, what not to do, as romance and commercial fiction have their own rules.
Writing romance and commercial fiction means knowing the rules, and this book will help you learn them and get there. If you’re wondering where to start, what to do, what not to do, how to find your author brand… this book has it all and more. Just take it from the 12 bestselling authors who wrote it! Experiencing all the ups and downs of the publishing industry isn’t easy, so Writing the Bestseller II will help you not only handle the work involved, but handle it well. Learning from authors who have been in your shoes, who understand the market and genre, willingly share their tips, wisdom, and encouragement so you can also succeed.
Writing the Bestseller doesn’t sugar-coat the work involved. Instead, authors who’ve been there tell you how to understand the genre and reader expectations. The rewards of writing a bestseller are worth the effort, and these authors share what they’ve learned over the years so you, too, can succeed in today’s competitive market.
Writing the Bestseller II: Romance and Commercial Fiction
With contributions by these bestselling authors: Jane Porter, Megan Crane, Joanne Rock, Mallory Kane, Dani Collins, Terri Reed, Kim Boykin, Lenora Worth, Tessa Shapcott, CJ Carmichael, Erika Marks, Kaira Rouda
Read an excerpt:
Critique Groups or Freak Groups?
by Jane Porter
I’m not always a fan of critique groups. When they work well, they are tremendously helpful. When they don’t work, they are soul-sucking.
I have friends that have benefited from belonging to critique groups but it never worked for me, and I’ve been in two. One group was controlling and the other damaging. Members showed up without material to share. Members showed up not prepared. Members showed up having rewritten each other’s chapters.
It was weird. It was ugly. It was like being thirteen and in junior high again.
The absolute worst year of my life was 7th grade. And the absolute worst hour of my 7th grade day was PE. Miss Smythe, classic PE teacher, lived in her gym clothes, carried a clipboard, and chomped on her whistle. She loved strong, athletic girls and despised wusses. I was a wuss.
Legally blind, I wore coke bottle glasses and was terrified of flying balls—tether ball, baseball, basketball, volleyball, any ball. Needless to say, I wasn’t a “top pick” for teams. In fact, the worst day of my worst year came when two 8th grade team captains were down to their final team picks and the captains struggled between dopey, dorky Jane and the girl with special needs. I don’t know who the captains picked first. I’ve chosen not to remember.
Interestingly, I became a teacher and chose to teach 7th grade and ‘relive’ the hellish months over and over again. And what I discovered is that 7th grade is all about being smart, and successful and strong. To survive 7th grade you have to become if not smart, then strong.
The same thing applies for critique groups. If you aren’t smart about critiquing, at least be strong. Critique groups aren’t for the weak or the vulnerable. Don’t assume they’ll be nurturing places and don’t believe every member is your friend.
I sound cynical, yes, but I’m also the girl who grew up a geek, the product of two teachers who welcomed intellect over social prowess. I didn’t understand the “rules of survival” and how Darwinian theory applies to girls. And I swear, critique groups remind me of nothing as much as 7th grade PE.
For those of you who’ve forgotten, 7th grade is about disparity. Some 7th grade girls are more athletic than others; some are also more coordinated and confident. And we’re not even talking sports; we’re still in the locker room. At thirteen, stripping down to shower is painful. Some girls have boobs and love it, some have boobs and hate it, and some just want to have something somewhere.
So, in keeping with my 7th grade theme, I’m going to propose survival skills for thirteen-year-old-girls and creative writing critique groups:
1) A good critique group needs to keep the playing field level. That means everyone strips, every time. Or, in writer speak, everyone brings something new to share every meeting.
2) A good critique group means no staring at body parts. Or, in other words, don’t focus exclusively on each other’s weaknesses. Look for the strengths, too.
3) Just because someone’s “built”, it doesn’t mean she likes herself. Or, don’t assume a talented writer is impervious to criticism. Everyone needs support, particularly when naked. Even strong writers want feedback.
4) The point of showering after PE is to get clean. Critique groups meet to improve one’s writing. If the group isn’t helping, stop showering.
5) Being a naked thirteen-year-old isn’t supposed to be comfortable. Sharing your works-in-progress isn’t going to be nirvana, either. It’s scary, it’s an act of trust, it’s something you don’t do every day.
6) If you don’t feel good, skip PE. Don’t put yourself through something you’re not ready for. Don’t ask for critiques when you feel fragile.
And if these tips don’t help you survive the locker room, you can always try co-ed PE, or, hone your craft alone.
(End of excerpt)
“A master class in writing compelling and unforgettable fiction. Writing the Bestseller deserves a spot right beside your keyboard…” – Elizabeth Boyle, NYT bestselling author of Love Letter from a Duke and If Wishes Were Earls.
Despite the fact that the book focuses on commercial fiction, romance fiction in particular, all writers will be able to get something from it. There are some useful examples and exercises to elaborate each chapter. Since various writers and industry professionals have contributed their advice and examples, one can get valuable information about the publishing industry from this book. All in all, a very useful and encouraging book for writers.
If you are new to Friday Reflections, here’s what it’s about. It’s the end of the week, you’re probably exhausted with work, and all you want to do is sit back, put your feet up, sip on some fancy cocktail or wine, and write away.
Sanch and Write Tribe give you writing prompts and all you have to do is choose any one of those prompts to blog about and link up between Friday and Monday. After you link up, be sure to spread the love by visiting other bloggers who have linked up too.
Feel free to add our Friday Reflections badge to your post or sidebar! Follow us on Twitter @FridayReflect and join our Facebook Group. Share your post on social media with the hashtag #FridayReflections.
Since Sanch is located in Australia and a lot of Aussie bloggers join this link up, the post will be up here by Thursday evening.
Our featured blogger from last week is Mithila Menezes with her post The Joy of Just Baking in response to the prompt with Brene Brown’s quote: ‘“Joy comes to us in ordinary moments. We risk missing out on joy when we get too busy chasing down the extraordinary.”
Prompts for this week
1. Top parenting tips
2. What is the biggest motivating factor for you?
3. What’s the worst advice you’ve heard?
4. ‘Anyone can slay a dragon’, he told me, ‘but try waking up every morning and loving the world again. That’s what takes a real hero’. – Brian Andreas
5. 5. Picture Prompt (picture courtesy Sanch Vee)