A question a lot of writers ask when they’re thinking about publishing is ‘how can I make my book an international bestseller?’
Having a book become a bestseller internationally is a dream for so many authors, but many people see it as unattainable.
The good news is, it’s not! There are steps you can take to get your book to reach international bestseller status, so read on to find out how to maximize the success and renown of your work.
Making Your Book an International Bestseller: 10 Steps
1. Pick Your Subject Matter Carefully
The first step of creating any work of literature is to come up with your subject matter.
This is something you need to think about carefully, and even when you know what you want to write about, you’ll need to consider how you’re going to execute your book to make it unique and relatable.
Ideally, you should write about something that you’re genuinely passionate about and think is a great idea.
It can be tempting to write about what you think people would want to read if you’re trying to sell as many books as possible, and as we’ll discuss later, it is important to think about what your audience wants.
However, if you wouldn’t be interested in reading your own book, it’s likely that this will come across in your writing, so stick to subjects you’re interested in.
2. Consider Your Audience
If you want your book to be an international bestseller, it needs to appeal to a wide audience.
Not only that, but your book needs to be appealing to your average reader as well as book blogger and critics, because critics and bloggers will be the ones (hopefully) encouraging others to pick up your book.
Considering your audience also involves taking into account any potentially sensitive subjects within your book.
For example, if you’re choosing to set your book in a different country, you need to make sure that you portray this country and its culture in an accurate, appropriate way.
A lot of writers today work with sensitivity readers for this specific purpose.
3. Don’t Be Afraid of Editing
Finishing the first draft of your book is an incredible accomplishment. Most people who attempt to write books don’t get that far. However, now is not the time to decide that your book is perfect.
You’ll probably need to do a lot of rewrites and edits to get your manuscript to be the best it can be – and that’s okay! It’s a process all serious writers go through.
We know it can be tough to hear critiques of something you’ve worked so hard on, but your publishing team knows what they’re talking about, so please take their advice and know that all the hard work will pay off.
4. Work With the Best Publisher
Speaking of your publishing team, you should work with the best possible publishing team if you want your book to be an international bestseller.
Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to work with one of the biggest publishing houses. It means the best publishing house for you.
You need a publisher who understands the vision you have for your novel, but will also put the time and effort into proofing and marketing your book for a wide audience.
You should also choose a publisher whose values align with yours since you don’t want your book associated with a publishing company that you don’t ultimately believe in.
5. Choose Blurb Writers and Cover Artists Wisely
As an author, you won’t be writing your own blurb or designing your own cover.
That’s why it’s important that you work with cover artists and blurb writers who understand what you’re trying to convey with your work and what kind of demographic you’re aiming for.
Your book cover should visually reflect the themes you’re trying to convey in your writing and your blurb needs to summarize these themes concisely, yet in a way that draws the reader in.
Since your cover and blurb are what will entice readers to pick your book up off the shelves (or add it to their Amazon cart), these need to be perfect.
Therefore, just like choosing a publishing company, you have to work with blurb writers and cover artists who understand and appreciate your vision.
6. Find Great Translators
If you want your book to be published internationally and be successful in other countries, it goes without saying that you need good translators.
Of course, when translating any literary work into another language, some things will have to change.
Specific words or phrases might not have direct translations, and sentence structure will have to be adapted.
With that being said, you want the translations to capture as much of the original essence of your novel as possible, which is why working with highly skilled, experienced translators is a must.
7. Utilize Social Media
Social media is your best friend when it comes to marketing your book for an international audience.
So many people from all over the world use social media today, so online platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are the perfect spaces to advertise your book.
Goodreads is a particularly popular social media platform for readers and writers, so make sure to get yourself an author account on Goodreads and get your book out there!
8. Create Your Own Website
In addition to a social media presence, you should have your own website with a page dedicated to your book.
This will make your audience connect more with you as a writer and it will also ensure that when they search your book, it appears to be established and successful due to having a dedicated website page.
9. Have an Email List
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to market any kind of product or service, and that includes books.
You can use your social media presence and website to start an email list where you can send your readership updates about your work.
Your publisher should also have an email list where they can update subscribers about upcoming and successful works, including yours.
One of the best ways to get yourself and your work out there as an audience is to collaborate with bloggers.
This will be much easier if you have a few social media platforms. This way, you can reach out to bloggers and instagram users who review books (bookstagrammers) and ask them to read and talk about your book.
This is a great way to get feedback on your work whilst also ensuring that your book reaches a wider, international audience!
Making your book an international bestseller is no mean feat, but it’s possible with hard work, determination, and an understanding of what’s required in the publishing industry.
Becoming an international bestselling author starts with writing about something you genuinely care about.
Then, it’s a matter of editing (a lot), working with a marketing team and translators, and using social media and well as email to promote your work.
If you do all of these things and don’t allow yourself to get discouraged, you stand a good chance of getting your book out to an international audience and onto bestseller lists in multiple countries.