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The Making of a Bestseller : Success Stories from Authors and the Editors, Agents, and Booksellers Behind Them

Hill, Brian
Power, Dee

Dearborn Trade, a Kaplan Professional Company
Published:March 1, 2005

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Description: From Publishers Weekly
As publishing industry insiders know, there is no way to guarantee a book will be a bestseller. Sometimes a sleeper hits the lists; other times a book, despite being flogged to death, never moves many copies. Nevertheless, it is possible to study how books have become bestsellers in the past and try to learn from them. Hill and Power, founders of the research and consulting firm Power Dynamics Inc., have interviewed a score of people involved in making bestsellers, from the authors to the editors and, last in the chain of reaching the consumer, booksellers. The authors offer a serious look at the business of publishing and how its components must work together to produce a bestseller. Frustratingly, what they don't offer is a complete case history; they never follow any one book from idea to bestseller list. Instead, the book is divided by subject matter, and each chapter consists of short snippets quoting a range of people on the topic under discussion. Publishing industry veterans won't learn much new here, and readers looking for an engrossing account of a bestseller will also be disappointed. So this book is perhaps best directed at newcomers to the industry or aspiring authors who want to know more about how editors make decisions, about the role of the chains, etc. Though filled with quotes from leading publishing people, the text remains a bit dry and textbook-ish.
Copyright # Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Description:
According to Bowker, there are over 150,000 books published in the U.S. every year. Less than 1 percent of the books published make the bestseller list.

People are fascinated by bestselling authors who have become every bit as much celebrities as rock musicians or film stars. Through some mysterious process, these individuals take blank pages and turn them into gold. And many authors do this over and over again. For authors, earning a spot on the bestseller list is the grand, often elusive prize at the end of many years of work. But what makes a bestseller happen?

Brian Hill and Dee Power interviewed over 50 successful authors, publishers, editors, agents, book reviewers, and other experts to find the answer. The Making of a Bestseller: Success Stories from Authors and the Editors, Agents, and Booksellers Behind Them presents a comprehensive look at the publishing process from start to finish.

Authors and would-be authors, individuals in the publishing industry, and passionate readers will learn:
* How bestselling authors approach the craft of writing and marketing their books.
* The many different paths authors take to the top of the list.
* The impact a first bestseller makes on an author's life.
* The workings of the selection process, from the query letter to the decision to publish.
* How publishers know a book has bestseller potential.
* The agent's role in helping create a bestseller.
* Factors and events that influence whether a book makes the bestseller list, including TV "reading book clubs," the review process, publicity, marketing programs, and timing.
* How Hollywood impacts the reading public.

To provide a broad spectrum of experience, interviews are included with authors of nonfiction and fiction, as well as first-time novelists to serial bestsellers. In addition, avid readers will find fascinating stories behind some of their favorite authors' works.

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