August 15, 2017 by Nathaniel Tower
I’ve never penned a bestseller but dammit, I’ve read a handful of them, so I know exactly what it takes to write one. Given the time and resources, I’d probably pump out dozens of them. I’d have myself a mansion with an enormous library, a leather chair, and one of those big ass ladders so I can reach the fifteenth shelf.
But I don’t have the time to do it right now, so I’m going to impart my wisdom on you. I have years ahead of me to become a best-selling author, but you might not have that luxury. So here’s what you need to do. Follow this advice, and you’ll be sitting in a castle within a year…
1. Describe absolutely everything in painstaking detail.
People these days are visual. They love movies and TV shows and the internet more than anything. So they need to be able to see everything. That means you have to describe every nitty gritty detail. Exact measurements of everything. Millions of adjectives and adverbs. Saying he slammed the door isn’t enough to send the message to your reader. He has to slam the 8 foot by 4 foot 5-panel white wooden door furiously. Do it. Every detail!
2. Kill someone at the end of every chapter.
Nothing keeps people reading like death. Make some of the deaths ambiguous, forcing the reader to say, “OMG, who just died!” At least one character should die more than once.
3. Use a shit-ton of profanity.
Then add more profanity. Use expletive sandwiches (such as “mothershitfucker”) and the famous technique I like to call “fuck” stacking (in which you create compound words like “fuckatron” and “fuckknobs”). A sentence without profanity is a missed opportunity. If you can fit in more profanity, do it.
4. Copy other writers.
You’ve heard something about how good writers borrow and great writers steal. Well, the best writers just duplicate it exactly. Rewrite a bestseller word-for-word and send it to a different publisher. Oh, be sure to change the title and the names of the characters, but everything else should be the same. If all else fails, add some zombies.
5. Be exceedingly arrogant in your cover letters.
Publishers love confidence. Tell them you are doing them a favor by even sending your book. If you act like you’re hot shit, the publisher will think you’re hot shit. Nothing sells better than hot shit.
6. Coerce people into buying your book and promoting it for you.
You’re a big shot writer. You don’t have time to waste on your own promotion. Threaten a few people into doing the work for you. Tell them you will stop being their friends or maybe even kill them if they don’t post about your book thirty-two times a day.
7. Ignore every rule you’ve ever heard, including the rules in this list.
Writers break the rules. Screw grammar. Screw plot structure. Write whatever the hell you want. Hell, don’t even write. If you’re that good, you can become a best-selling author without even putting a word on the paper.
8. Why are you still reading this?
You should be a bestseller by now. Best-selling authors don’t need to read blog posts. Stop reading blog posts and become a mega millionaire author with 50 cars and a 15,000 square foot home. Use signed first editions of famous books to wipe your ass.
For even more tips on becoming a best-selling author, grab a copy of my e-book How to Write a Guide to Writing a Bestseller in 10 Minutes. It’s not a bestseller, but it once reached #1 in some obscure category like “How-To Guides that Take Less Than Ten Minutes to Read.” It’ll be the best 99 cents you ever spent and should produce at least a 100% ROI if you follow all the advice. Do it and report back here in the comments.