Writing Books/Question


QUESTION: Am an author living in Nigeria,i desire to be on New York Times Best Selling list.Pls give me tips that will make this dream a reality considering my present location.

ANSWER: First, American writers have only a 1% chance of getting traditionally published, and out of about 130,000 American books traditionally published a year, less than 1% of those make it to the NY Times Bestseller list. My best advice is learn to write better than 99% of the authors who are getting published in America today. After your writing sparkles and is better than almost all other writers’ work, if you are writing fiction, you must find an American agent (which isn’t easy) who can find an American publisher willing to buy the manuscript (which is even harder).

Never give up, though! Those who know their goals are more likely to reach them. The first job is to study writing and practice writing. Write, write, write, and revise, revise, revise. It takes years of work to become a good writer and many more years to become a bestselling author, if indeed it ever happens, but everyone who made it had to have the desire to make it to the top, which you already have.

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QUESTION: Bobbie i believe i can write a good book as a first timer and still hit it as a best selling author, i dont quite agree with your ideology of writing for years before becoming a New York best selling author.Are you saying no one has written his/her first book and hit the best selling list?

I haven't researched the background of every best-selling author; I can only speak of the authors I know and have worked with over the past forty-plus years of my career. It's been my experience that the best writers I've worked with did not start out being great writers. They started out being good writers, but they developed their writing skills through lots of practice, lots of patience, lots of revision, and a great deal of learning and improving over time.

If you think you can write a bestseller first time out, here's my recommendation: Don't talk about it; do it! Show me it can be done, and I'll eat my words. I would love to be proven wrong. I really do wish you much success.

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Bobbie Christmas


Book Doctor Bobbie Christmas owns Zebra Communications, a book-editing firm in metro Atlanta. She not only edits books, she also helps writers power up their prose to increase their chances of success. She is the author of Write In Style (Union Square Publishing), a creative-writing guide that won three awards.


Bobbie has spent more than 40 years in the publishing and communications industry and has run Zebra Communications, a book-editing company, since 1992. The editor of many publications and periodicals, she has worked with book publishers and trade magazine publishers as well as working in marketing communications and corporate communications.

Past president, Georgia Writers Association; past vice president, South Carolina Writers Workshop; charter/lifelong member, Florida Writers Association; Southeastern Writers Association; Atlanta Writers Club; Society for the Preservation of English Language and Literature (SPELL); International Guild of Professional Consultants

Write in Style (Union Square Publishing), A Cup of Comfort (Adams Media Corporation), A Cup of Comfort for Friends (Adams Media), A Cup of Comfort for Mothers and Sons (Adams Media), Haunted Engounters (Atriad Press), Remembering Woolworth's (St. Martin's Press), First-Time Home Buyer magazine, HomeBusiness Journal, Apparel Industry Magazine, Edge Magazine, Atlanta Jewish Times, Time Travel Australia, American Writers Review, Points North, That's Entertainment, Atlanta Parent, Agnes Scott Alumnae Magazine, etc.

Journalism: University of South Carolina plus four decades of working in publishing, marketing, communications, advertising, newspaper and magazine production, book publishing, etc.

Awards and Honors
First Place, nonfiction, Georgia Writers Annual Contest, 2005; First Place, education, Royal Palm Literary Award, 2004; Best in Division, Georgia Author of the Year Awards, 2005; Finalist, Best Books 2005, USA BookNews Third Place, nonfiction, Georgia Writers, 1999; Nominated for Georgia Author of the Year, 1998; plus many other awards

Past/Present Clients
Capital Books, Sourcebooks, Olin Frederick, The Writer's Machine, Russell Dean & Company, Outskirts Press, and hundreds of writers.

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