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3 Things Every Book Needs To Be Successful

Fun fact: the best-selling book of all time is Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes which sold 500 million copies. An eye mind-boggling number and certainly a success by anyone’s definition. Success doesn't necessarily mean selling books in the millions or hitting the number 1 best-seller spot but most aspiring authors I've spoken to dream of seeing their work in bookshops and libraries.

Here are three features that every book needs to be successful.

1. A compelling concept

As I mention in my digital writing course, most ideas for books have already been done, but not by you. The question to consider is what unique element are you bringing to the table? Whether you’re writing a romance novel or a book on time management, how does it differ from others in that genre? You need to capture your idea in one or two sentences, and it needs to compel people to want to hear more. Warning: easier said than done!

Karen Osman on a pink couch reading The Home

2. A unique style

Your writing style and execution is the foundation of a successful book. Readers can be highly critical (and rightly so, as they are paying for an experience) and there is nothing more off-putting to an agent, publisher, or reader than poor writing. This goes beyond grammar and typos - it’s about prose that captivates or as my agent says, jumps off the page. Developing your craft of the written word takes time, but with learning and practise, the establishment of your authorial voice will be a significant factor in your book's success.

3. A good story

This can be subjective but there are a few common elements that come together to make a good story. A well-thought-out narrative arc, which I talk about a lot in my digital writing course, will help define and pace your story. This, along with engaging characters, strong themes, and a clear narrative voice will all build upon your original idea to make your narrative compelling and memorable.



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I'm Karen, a best-selling novelist who left her corporate life to pursue my dream of becoming a writer. Since then, I've written everything from travel articles to web copy before winning a novel writing competition which led to a 3-book deal. 


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