What talents do you need to be a best-selling author (apart from being able to write!)?

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Actually, to be best-selling author (as in, being on the bestseller list) you don't necessarily have to be a good writer. You just have to be able to entertain people better than anyone else. Most of the books that usually are on the list for fiction are not the best books, or even close to the best. They're just the most popular. So that's the first thing: You have to learn how to write what the public wants to read.

    Another thing you have to have is a thick skin, or at least the ability to get over the criticism and maybe learn from it. You will face a lot of rejection, even Stephen King faced only rejection in the beginning, and now he's one of the most popular writers. You have to be persistent enough to keep sending your work in, even when everyone is telling you that it won't sell.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I think the writing part is the only thing you need to worry about. Best selling authors come in all guises from the Big Mac & Fries himself- Stephen King (just ramble on for 3 chapters about what the building looks like) to J.K.Rowling (have a great idea for a story and run with it baby,run,run!)

    Original stories not really necessary (check out all the rips in Harry Potter)

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  • 1 decade ago

    Besides being able to write, i think that alot of research may also be involved wich is very time consuming to say the least.

    Research involves reading articles in librarys, and or over the internet about certain subjects that arise, and going to history museums, different countries, and experiances that are helpfull to the writing of the novel wich i think would cost you quite a bit of money, but if you think you have got a best selling idea for a novel, then the money you may have spent on all the research etc will definately pay off.

    As with all things though, you have to start at the bottom and work your way up. Good luck.

    Source(s): Reading up on the subject.
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  • 1 decade ago

    It's less of an outside-in approach, and more of inside-out.

    If you take a list of certain talents, and assemble them, an author will not necessarily be the result. May be you'll get a painter. The process of becoming someone, especially someone unique, is quite different from the process of patching up a quilt.

    As Crichton said, then, it's the story, above all, and the flair to tell it to YOUR INTENDED AUDIENCE. Authors become best-sellers by being relevant to their times and, alas, often by pandering to whatever the taste is, and through the intricacies of the business of publishing and media.

    Source(s): Talent management background.
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  • 1 decade ago

    Apart from a writing talent, it would seem that a talent for selling yourself to a great book publishing company, or having a talent for picking great go-getters to go to bat for you would be part of becoming a best-selling author.

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  • 1 decade ago

    a good plot, a talent to unravel it always keeping people guessing and not wanting to put it aside.

    a talent with words is i suppose mandatory, as well as knowing the subject you describe - i mean, don't write about Paris and then be totally wrong on the details as people will notice!

    or you can be preposterous. it has worked before - of course you'll need the press.

    a couple hundred years no one will know who you were, but then if you were on it just for the money, not sitting along the shelves with Marlowe, Shakespeare or Byron is a mere detail.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Actually, in today's market, I'd say an original idea or great way of reworking an old idea were more important that the ability to write well. If you don't believe me, look at the Da Vinci Code - terribly written, I really had to struggle through it, but it was a good idea. There are always editors to help you put things together properly, but a good plot idea and a strong knowledge of your characters will be what sells a novel.

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  • 1 decade ago

    i know you are not going to read this an i only have 15 min but here it is if i decorate and old shoe and put the best smelling odor in it and you look at it then smell it you are going to buy it

    when i write stories it has to be something i have to write because it is so good i cannot get my mind off it i can't sllep withoout thinking about it or when i wake up i think about it all day in my writing i make people do the same thing they think aboutit all day long they get all types of emotions running through them they have to finish the 1 book then at the end at the very last page they still want to know more

    if you would like to see a small example i will email it to you

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  • 1 decade ago

    - draw your line, your interest and sort.

    This helps to catagorized the book either it's sci-fi, creative writing, biography, memoir, journalism, or even scrips or family histories.

    - your story line details shows your imaginary skill.

    The more details you put the richer your text (but ensure no repetition).

    - your plotting.

    Using your good and easy digest language in boosting your heroes and characters. A good book is a book which enable to entertain the reader, it makes the audience eager to go to next page by page without skipping anything in between till the last word of your text.

    Keep on writing, it's how an author drilling to be the BEST

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  • 1 decade ago

    You need to be a good storyteller, of course. But you also need an element of "feel-good". You need to add tidbits of light philosophy, insights on Life... and present it in a way that isn't preachy, but makes the person feel warm and fuzzy inside. Basically, you must be deep, but not too deep. (Mitch Albom's books, Life of Pi)

    Don't be too radical, don't dig TOO deeply into the human psyche. And don't be controversial, don't say things that make people feel uncomfortable. Look at all the so-called "controversial" bestsellers--Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code, even the Harry Potter books. They're not REALLY controversial in the sense that they uproot all we ever believed in--though they act adventurous, they're all thoroughly grounded in Conventionality.

    Source(s): Observation and analysis.
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