What you need to know about best selling books

Every writer dreams of hitting the bestseller list.

Writer dreaming of writing a bestseller novel - Pixabay image

However, there are more books than M&Ms promising to show us the way. So which one do you pick? Well, I’ve got a good one you should consider reading.


I admit I picked up this book with a lot of trepidation. But I wasn’t disappointed and I don’t think you will be either.

The Bestseller Code: Anatomy of the Blockbuster Novel by Jodie Archer dissects best-selling books, explaining why readers devour them and producers gobble them up for the big screen.

In the Bestseller Code, Ms. Archer covers,

  • “Write what you know.” and it doesn’t mean if you were a plumber, to write about plumbing. But to put your experiences with love, anger, joy, loss, etc. into your stories.
  • To write everyday things into the story. Taking kids to school, cooking dinner, gossip at the water cooler. You get the idea. Helps readers relate to the characters, creating realism & relatability.
  • Add human closeness and connection for shared intimacy. Casual moments help readers see the characters as more than caricatures and more of themselves.
  • What will make a character come alive like Pinocchio after Geppetto’s wish comes true?
  • Incorporate nonverbal communication such as smiles, glances and other facial expressions.
  • Readers need to see and feel an emotional connection between your characters. And a story that elicits an emotional response.
  • Why Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James caught fire lighting up the bestseller list. Even with grammatical errors.
  • And what one book in the last 30 years, and hits all points in an algorithm as number one of bestselling novels. The title will surprise you. Click here for a sneak peek at the title- surprise.

If you want to understand the structure and writing tips that make up a bestselling novel, you need to read The Bestseller Code: Anatomy of the Blockbuster Novel by Jodie Archer.

My review: 

The eye-catching coral cover with enticing  subheadings lured this writer to open and read.  I read this book on the recommendation of my daughter. She loaned me her copy during our holiday. After reading, I bought my own copy because this is a must have for a writers library.  The writing style of the authors is engaging, informative and easy to understand. I discovered answers to several perplexing questions. This book delivers what is promised,  explaining the success of some books and the failure of others. The Bestseller Code receives 5 stars from this reader.

Have you ever wondered what makes a bestselling novel click with readers?

Have you scratched your head over books like 50 Shades?

Have you read The Bestseller Code?

Do you have a favorite “How to” book on writing?







What do you think comes first?

The chicken or the egg?

More purchases or more reader reviews?

And I’m not talking about purchasing reviews – those are BAD, forbidden, illegal, and just plain wrong.

No, I’m asking if you think reader reviews are so important that you give away copies to get reviews, hoping the reviews will be good. There is always a chance some readers won’t like your style.

Without reader reviews, no interest is generated.

A bit of a dilemma right?


So what is a writer to do?

Kari Stevenson wrote over at BookFuel.com just why Book Reviews Are Important

Yes, it’s a lot of work. I know, believe me. But I’ve not landed an agent to do the work for me, nor have I the money to hire a marketing agency so I’m plodding along.

Anyone have any good ideas out there for obtaining more reader reviews please share them! We would all love to know your secret.

Make a list and check it twice.

How to Get Reviews For Your Book (Without Begging, Bribing or Resorting to Subterfuge) by

Tim Grahl give you a form email to help.


What to say in a book review.

How To Get More Amazon Book Reviews By Jonathan Gunson

Amazon Reviewer Guidelines

Look for me on Twitter @jeancogdell and on Facebook at jean.cogdell! And don’t forget, pay it forward with a click and share this post with your Twitter peeps and Facebook fans.

Breaking News – No 5 Star Recommendation Today

Sorry everyone! No book review today.

This week has been crazy.

Spent two days in bed. Someone should’ve warned me picking up magic markers could throw out my back. Weird….

Plus this week has have been filled with nail-biting, exciting Little League playoff games. Let me tell you – the Texas Rangers have nothing, and I mean nothing on these pint-sized eleven year old kids. Each game was a thrill to watch them play their hearts out and win.

Last night we cinched 2nd place. Two more games to go. Hope my nerves can take it.

wyatt2 wyatt1a

And this week we also celebrated our youngest grandson’s 8th birthday! DylanBD2

DylanBD1 DylanBDC

The two days I spent laying flat on my aching back, I started a couple of books but they couldn’t hold my attention. The rest of the week there just wasn’t enough time nor energy. Family comes first, and is a big priority for me. So unfortunately, I’m without a book recommendation.

What’s in your kindle?

Y’all know I love to read, so send me your best recommendations for the coming week.

Y’all know that I love comments, almost as much as I love clicks.

So after you pass my post on to your Facebook and Twitter pals leave me a comment and a book recommendation.

If you’re not already, please follow me @jeancogdell on Twitter or jean.cogdell on Facebook!