Honestly, I feel this list is important for all writers to understand. There’s a lot of guesswork that goes into a commercially successful novel, and what works for someone like Scalzi won’t necessarily work for a different writer (even one in the same genre with a similar publisher and/or fanbase).
Originally posted on Whatever:
A question from the gallery:
Now that Redshirts has become a New York Times bestseller, to what do you attribute its success? Anything that could be replicated by the rest of us?
To answer the second part first: Maybe. To answer the first part second, there are several factors which I think came into play, which I will lay out below. But be sure to stick around for the end, because I will have a point to make there.
So, here’s how I think we — and by we I mean me and a whole bunch of other people at Tor Books and beyond — made a NYT best seller:
1. I wrote seven other largely successful science fiction novels first, two of which (The Last Colony and Fuzzy Nation) were NYT best sellers in their own right, albeit on the paper’s extended list. Which is to say
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