1. Manutebecker
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    Manutebecker Member

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    A question of curiosity.

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Manutebecker, Apr 20, 2009.

    Do you think that any of the people writing on this site have the ability to become New York Times Bestsellers one day? It just sparks my curiosity because it seems that if you enjoyed writing, and you were good at it, that you would probably hop on a forum and communicate with others that feel the same. I guess to paraphrase, the question is do you think that the people of this forum are some of the best writers amongst the "average joe" population?
     
  2. PS Foster
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    PS Foster Member

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    Some of them are. Some are already published. The rest of us are here to learn how to be better writers. Best Sellers? Maybe.
     
  3. Kursal
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    Kursal Senior Member

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    Bestseller? Maybe. I think that being a best seller (in the NY Times or in any other sense of the word) is largely luck in today's market. After all, who would have thought that a book about a young wizard would get as much critical acclaim and financial success as the Harry Potter series did? It's not just about how well you write but also whether you fire the imagination of the right people at the right time.

    The Harry Potter series has sold over 400 Million copies. There's no way you can't call it a best seller. Discworld, on the other hand, has sold 55 million copies yet Mr. Pratchett's books are always on the top of the best seller lists when they are released. And what of similar series that have become best sellers? Well both The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy and His Dark Materials weigh in at around 15 million, yet they are also considered best sellers.

    I think just limiting it to the NY Times list really doesn't give a good enough picture of the market. That is not the be all and end all of the literary world and any book has a shot at reaching that particular list.
     
  4. Sound of Silence
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    Sound of Silence Member

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    I'm fairly new on this site so I don't really know much about the writing history of the members here. On another site, though, I got talking to this chap, and was freindly with him for a long time before I found out he'd got several mainstream books under his belt and he was actually a creative writing tutor from a University in California (I picked up his book from the library and read it in the authors notes). A most humble man indeed. The point is, you don't know who it is you're talking on sites like these as they attract both fresh and hardcore writers. Many just enjoy the ride, and the communities they generate (yep, and it's a good promotional tool too!)...
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The potential is here, for certain. We have some highly motivated writers here. Some have been published, others have not. Some will give up and follow other pursuits. Some will try over and over and never quite find their pace. Some will become successful writers in whatever way they define success.

    As for the bestseller lists, a great deal of that depends on marketing and luck. It's like entering any of the promotional contests you see every day - many will enter, few will win.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    ...much as i'd like to think 'yes' and may be ragged on for being honest, i have to say from what i see here now and in all the time i've been posting on the site, no one whose work i've read appears to...

    ...however, many are young and/or just beginning to write, so who knows what 'growth' in skills may take place after this moment in time... and there's much i haven't read, not being interested in some genres, so there could well be one or more i haven't noticed, who have that 'ability'... which, as cog notes, doesn't always rely only on talent and skill, but often hinges more on marketing savvy and luck...
     
  7. Hunter B.
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    Hunter B. Member

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    well from what i've seen on this site, they're many people on here. so i think yes, there is alot of potentail for people to have sellout books.
     
  8. lynneandlynn
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    lynneandlynn Contributing Member

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    I personally think that this question is a hard one to answer because you never know what kind of people you're going to find on any online forum. Some of the writers here may never become a writer at all...they may lack the patience and dedication that the art takes...others may end up dedicating their lives to writing (or already have). It takes all sorts of people to be a writer...whether any of the writers on this site are worthy of being on a bestselling list...well, I'd have to agree that it comes down to market savvy and luck.
     
  9. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Maybe. There are a few successful writers on this site right now, but not any NY Times Best Sellers that I know of...but who knows what the future holds?

    While there are some long-time members, there is also a large turnover at this site, and as was stated, younger writers just starting out.

    I think that there are, have been or will be writers here with the ability to build a career and regularly sell their fiction and nonfiction works. Others will sell a book or story or two to major markets. And some will sell sporadically, often to smaller markets. Some will never sell a completed piece, and others will never complete a piece or if they do, submit it for publication.

    A key word used in the question is 'ability'. Ability and taking the time and effort to develop and employ the skills to write and sell a NY Times best selling novel...the first does not necessarily lead to the second.

    Terry
     
  10. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Considering the small amount of unpublished writers that become published and make enough money to pay the bills, and of those writers how few become bestsellers . . .
     

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