How to become a bestselling author

I just launched a new series of articles with my friend, New York Times bestselling author Miranda Beverly-Whittemore. The aim is to provide honest, practical advice to writers negotiating the murky waters of publication, especially around their roles in publicity and marketing, where so much is expected and often so little guidance is offered.

The series is called “How I Book,” and we are posting the series on Medium.com. We are planning weekly posts throughout the winter and spring. Here are the first two:

This is a topic I will be talking a lot about in the coming weeks: how does one develop an audience for their work? How do you launch your work into the world in a way that is both compelling and filled with meaning?

Earlier this week I also published a piece on Writer Unboxed. Yes, it’s been a busy week of publishing articles! That one is titled Don’t Worry, It Only Gets Harder. Sorry for the ominous title. The crux of the piece is a quote from author Dani Shapiro. Despite being on Oprah, having multiple bestselling books, having been published in The New Yorker, Dani says this about the daily practice of writing:

“Not only doesn’t it get any easier, it actually gets harder.”

The piece encourages you to invest in your craft and your support system. This consists of your collaborators (yes, you need collaborators), your mental health (we DO NOT talk about this enough), your physical health, and doubling down on connecting with those who already support and love your work.

As I think about what it takes to develop a body of work that you are proud of, to craft and launch your work, and to develop an audience, I think that Casey Neistat explains it really well:

“There are two rules that I always adhere to: work hard and be brave. I think the essence of hard work is that you’ll never be the best-looking, the tallest, the most talented, the most capable. You’ll never have the most money. There will always be someone better at whatever you’re doing than you are. But you can always be the hardest working person in the room and I think the hardest working person will always win.”

“Life shrinks and expands in direct proportion to one’s willingness to take on risk.”

“I think when it comes to exploring, the act of exploration is the act of assuming risk. The greater risk taker is the greater explorer.”

When you consider what it takes to launch your work and develop an audience, what are the questions I can answer for you?

Thanks.
-Dan

P.S. Yes, this is a final heads-up that registration for my Fearless Work course ends tonight at midnight.

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