What makes a good story for a book?

What makes a good story for a book?

During a recent Book blogger interview, I was asked: ” What makes a good story for a book?”  At the time, I thought it to actually be a fairly normal question for her to ask me.  I mean, I’ve often wondered after having read some of my favourite authors’ books, how they’d come up with that particular plot for their book?  What sparked it? But this question could have easily also meant something entirely different.  Like, how do you prefer drinking your tea?  Sugar? Milk? Cup or Mug?

Now, I realise she probably quite literally meant to ask how I come up with a concept or a good plot to write a book. I get it.  But I chose to answer her by saying that it all really depended on the mood you’re in whilst reading or choosing a particular book.  My answer took her completely by surprise, but think about it for a second.  It’s kind of like switching on Netflix and scrolling through lines and lines of thumbnails trying to choose your next curl-up-on-the-couch movie.  What’s going to make for a good watch? So you start by scrolling through the categories and then slowly hone in eventually settling on something you hope is going to be worth watching.   If it’s late at night and around Halloween, well then you’ll probably choose a thriller and thoroughly enjoy it.  If it’s Christmas and you’re curled up in bed in the middle of winter, then you’ll most certainly pick a nice Christmassy movie, right?  Your mood in life pretty much sets the tone for many things but how you perceive it on your end as a viewer or a reader is essentially the key to this answer.

You see when you write a book, your mind should not be focussed around yourself in a particular moment but instead, you should always look at your writing through the eyes of your readers.  How would they read this sentence or paragraph?  Can they feel the emotion you’re trying to evoke through your words?  Are they bored? Are they curious to read more? See, unlike the visual enhancements a movie gives you, a book needs to be written in such a way that it transports the reader to a fantasy world only they can conjure up.  Based on their own fantasies and subliminal memories.  A place where they are able to put a face to a character, fill a house with furniture and colour schemes or smell freshly baked muffins on a breakfast table.

Which touches on the very thing I wrote on in one of my other blogs on Reviews.  A great review is most certainly dependent on not only whether my reader enjoyed reading my book, or what the story was about or even how many adjectives you used, but also on whether they have read the book at the right time and in the right mood!

So, as a writer, in my mind, the answer to What makes a good story for a book is quite simply…. The Reader!


PS:  To see if I’ve hit the spot, please read one of my books and let me know by posting a review

What makes a good story for a book?

What makes a good story for a book?




Book Sales vs Book Reviews

Which sells books? Book Sales or Book Reviews?

It’s practically the first wall you hit after having written a book.  Book Sales and Book Reviews.  Which sells books? Your Book reviews or more Book Sales?

As an aspiring author, I’ve pondered this conundrum many times. I’ve plucked up the courage to finally write my book. You know…the one I’ve had on my bucket list and swore I’d write before I turn fifty?

So I wake up in the middle of the night with a storyline to what I’m certain will be the next bestseller, and make a mad dash to my laptop. Armed with a strong mug of coffee I start thrashing out keys at the speed of light as the words and paragraphs gush out, slowly bringing my debut novel to life.

Having then also conquered the self-publishing beast, my book is live on Amazon and Goodreads and I’ve even gone one step further in creating a paperback through Createspace.

Voilá. I am an Author. A self published Author nonetheless, but now what?

As a new Author, writing your first book, is a personal achievement that brings great joy and you tell yourself that it was just that… for yourself.

But deep down you want your book to sell and get recommended amongst avid readers on online book forums and the likes who can appreciate reading a good book. So you join all the online Indy Author forums and start interacting with readers, fellow authors, reviewers and the likes in the hope that you can create somewhat of a book following with online friends to generate some Book Sales.

A month down the line you have plenty of free book downloads (having entered all the online book giveaways, countdown deals and free book promotions!) but no book sales to speak of and once again, turn to the online book forums for advice.

Only to then learn that, in order to Sell your book, you need Book Reviews. Confused you ponder this statement to kingdom come because, in order to get the Book Reviews in the first place, you need to Sell your book, but to Sell your book, you need Reviews? Say what now? What comes first? The chicken or the egg?

Some new Authors would even suggest paying for Reviews and trust me, there are plenty “Books Reviewers” out there that will offer their services for free if you send them a free copy of your book to review. Months later, with no book review anywhere on any Amazon marketplace site, you go back to the small print on their blogs only to see they do warn that their inboxes are always inundated with requests to review so don’t expect your review anytime soon!

So next time you ask yourself, which sells books, you need to ask yourself at this point. Why are you writing? Do you really need to beg and pay for reviews or would you rather rely on organic book sales and therefore organic honest reviews?  Wouldn’t this be a more truthful reflection of your actual talent?

Writer Inspiration - which sells books


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