Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Why Your Book Could be The Next Bestseller

Why Your Book Could be The Next Bestseller
By Jeff Bennington

Every writer has his or her own way of carving out their masterpiece. Some sit up in a proper position with their fingers curled just so, like a pianist, in order to keep from getting a crippling case of carpal tunnel syndrome. Some authors snuggle under their covers, or sit on the porch and let the breeze blow across their face while they create. I like to recline, feet up, head back, with a cup of coffee nearby. I frequently act out my scenes, bringing myself to tears as I feel my characters emotions. And yet with all of these preferences, I’ve wondered what makes my words come out different than the next prolifically fascinating author. 

So how is it exactly that my “voice” is unique?

After thinking about this, I’ve come up with a list of reasons why every author has a distinct voice and therefore has a shot at becoming the next best thing because of their uniqueness. As we all know, literature is extremely subjective and trends come and go. If you’re not a vampombie loving artist, you could be writing the next trend at this very moment. Here are a few reasons why you could be the next literary lottery winner.

·      You Have a Unique History! No one has ever lived your life. Your childhood and adolescence and college years have twisted together a very distinct experiential DNA. You cannot avoid the fact that you’ve traveled a road that no one else has dared to explore. It is this voyage that will carry over into your writing, making you different, and fresher than the same old authors that the world reads over and over. Use your story to your advantage. Throw in your memories, your embarrassing moments and your failures into your characters lives and bring the literary world something new.

·      People Bore Easily. As much as I love Lemony Snicket and J.K. Rowling, there will come a time when I get bored with a series and maybe the author as well. When that time comes, I’ll move on to someone new. I might start reading another well-known author or maybe a not so well known literary artist, and your work could be there waiting for me to stumble upon. It’s a great feeling to know that someone picks up your book by accident and falls in love with your writing. After all, accidents do happen!

·      Literature is Subjective. Like I said earlier, one man’s trash is another man’s favorite book. With all the “I’m sorry to inform you” agent form letters I’ve received, you’d think no one would get past the first line of my work, but that’s not the case. My latest book, REUNION, is receiving high marks by a slew of book reviewers at book blogs, Amazon and Goodreads. How is that possible when so many agents passed on my supernatural thriller? Easy. Literature is subjective. Sometimes agents and publishers miss the next trend, or simply enjoy other genres. And sometimes, the publishing world loses touch with what readers want.

·      Being Different is Good. Do you remember the kid in school with the weird haircut? You know, the one who everyone teased but deep inside you wished you could grow a pair as big as his! Then at your ten-year reunion you discovered he’s driving a Mercedes and living on the beach in Sarasota, Florida because he invented a new design to a widget that hadn’t changed in fifty years. Originality pays. Being different is good! Unfortunately, we live in a world that breeds sameness. Our schools and social systems line us up and pin on the qualities that appeal to their needs. They want citizens that stand at attention, say yes to their policies and shut up about it. In my opinion, the best thing any writer can do is break free from unoriginality, forge a new trail and blaze a new path.

The truth is, one hit wonders come and go. Many great books have risen to the top and then sank to the bottom of the literary ocean, rusting and watching the crabs walk over their pages. If you create something new, that will not be the end of your story. You have to continue writing, creating a list of books for readers to choose from, diversifying your portfolio with as much savvy as a Wallstreet wiz kid. Then as soon as you have a captive audience, remake yourself. Of course, if you’re the next J.K. Rowling, don’t stop after The Sorcerer’s Stone! Learn to recognize a good thing. Just know that after you make your millions from your upcoming series, we, as in the readers of the world, will start to yawn and begin looking for the next good book that’ll scratch our story-loving itch.

-Jeff Bennington
Author of REUNION and other thrillers.
Jeff is also the author of The Writing Bomb, featuring thriller authors all summer long!


Gerard de Marigny said...

I have an AC repair man (that I have to pay) working outside my house, it's 109-degrees here today, so I'm trying to write through a haze of sweat and I was paying bills online when I saw you Tweet this ... MAN, it felt good!

Haha ...

Thx Jeff ... its always nice to hear something uplifting!

p.s. I was the kid who quit school, grew my hair down to my butt, picked up an axe and joined a heavy metal band ... 30 years and a lot of hair later ... I'm still that same kid ... just creating in a different way, writing my fiction! c",)

p.p.s. I'm following your lead and launching my own blog tour on July 04 ... you were point on broth - everything you said in your article was dead on! Very nicely done!

First round's on me ...

Jeff Bennington said...

Thanks G,
I'm a drummer. Been at it for over 25 yearsnow. Never had long hair though. Thanks for the comment...and good luck with hte tour!

Maryannwrites said...

Thanks for the inspiration, Jeff. I think we all need it. Keep on keeping on....

Jeff Bennington said...

Thank you, Maryann! You do the same.

Juanita Rose Violini said...

Excellent post. I can see why you're getting the great reviews.

Sheilagh Lee said...

Great post Jeff:)

Katherine Owen said...

Thank you! This is an inspirational post! I saw your book somewhere...the kindleboards. It looks great. I will check it out.

Regge Ridgway said...

Hey Jeff. Great blog post. Got my attention. I like what you said about unique voice and our experiences are fodder for our stories. I may not write the next best seller, but I will always try to entertain. Thanks for inspiring us.
Reggie Ridgway

Jeff Bennington said...

I am so glad that this inspired you folks. Sometimes I get caught up in the facts. Iwill always remember my high school friend Paul Loomis. He was funny. I really liked him. But he was very different and didn't seem to care. He was bullied a bit and teased, but guess who has the PhD and teaches at the university? Paul, that's who. He was different and now he has something to offer science and the world that all of us everyone else people do not. Thanks for inspiring me Paul, wherever you are. You guys can thank him too.

Have a great writing week folks!