A Profile of Best Selling Authors

Carolyn’s Online Magazine (COMe)


What Dee Power discovered about best selling authors was discussed at our July 27, 2007 Beanery Writers Group meeting. She authored the “Nine Characteristics That May Surprise You” after interviewing 24 of today’s most popular authors, who, as a group, have sold more than half a billion books. The surprise? WRITING TALENT isn’t the only separating factor, and in fact, may not be the most important factor.

What characteristics did these 24 authors display?

  • Perseverance is their key characteristic. Immediate success is rare, and these authors didn’t get discouraged by their lack of success.
  • Second, successful authors write—and write—and write, with an output much greater than the average writer. They are disciplined and produce high quality work.

  • Third, they like to write and write and write, and would rather write than do anything else. Many aspiring authors enjoy the idea of writing, not the hard work involved.
  • Fourth, they never stop promoting their books, and many still market at the grass roots level. They never believe they have “made it.”
  • Fifth, They understand marketing concepts, closely watch literary market trends and realize much more goes into being a successful author than the writing itself.
  • Sixth, they realize fans are important and word of mouth support from readers and booksellers is more important to them than reviews.
  • Seventh, they know that the more success the more pressure. They lead three different lives: the quiet writing life, the team effort with the publishing house, and the public life of selling.
  • Eighth, they are grateful, keenly aware of their fortune to have reached the top of their profession.
  • Finally, there is no single profile for a bestselling author. They are seldom the top graduates of prestigious university writing programs, and writing may be their second—or third—career. They are all ages, professions.

Do you want to become a “successful” writer? Use this list to evaluate your writing life. Where do you, as a writer, fall on this list of writing characteristics?


About carolyncholland

In several if my nine lives I have been a medical lab technician and a human service worker specializing in child day care, adoptions and family abuse. Currently I am a photo/journalist/writer working on a novel and a short story. My general writings can be viewed at www.carolyncholland.wordpress.com. My novel site is www.intertwinedlove.wordpress.com.
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One Response to A Profile of Best Selling Authors

  1. Tom Beck says:

    I know that the review was done earlier, but I expected to see my name among the hallowed authors. (Smile)


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