publishing, more and more people are queuing up to
achieve fame as authors or would-be authors. So
much so that many of these "writers" are not even
taking the time to pen a book for themselves but
instead outsource the writing to others.
While this is great for those of us who make our living
freelancing and are happy to ghostwrite, the
proliferation of competition makes it harder for real
writers who take pains to perfect their art to make a
A "writer" who can produce hundreds of books a year
through employing others will obviously seem more
successful in the charts through sheer numbers.
So how do real authors compete?
The answer should be by writing a good book.
What makes a good book?
And that for me is the million dollar question that
stumps so many of us.
Authors strive day after day to master their craft and
many produce well-written non-fiction books, chock
full of interesting and helpful information. Many more
produce works of fiction in every known genre and
sub-genre. They marshal troops of lifelike characters
with authentic dialogue and face them with plots that
keep their readers turning the pages.
We all know in our hearts what makes a good book,
don't we? And that's what makes the best seller charts
so bewildering. How often have we bought a best
seller and been bitterly disappointed?
How often have we found authors previously unknown
to us and thought they were terrific? Why don't they
achieve a consistent place in the bestseller charts?
What makes a good book?Perhaps it is easier to define it by what it is not. For
me, it is not a matter of genre, nor writing style. Not
3D characters nor plot though these are important.
It involves instead a strength of theme and answers
questions I never realized I wanted to ask.
Maybe not all human life is there, but the characters
are an intriguing mix of good and bad, the questions
posed are, like poetry, relevant to all who read it.
What for you makes a good book?
Anne Duguid is a senior content editor with MuseItUp Publishing and her New Year's Resolution is to pass on helpful writing,editing and publishing tips at Slow and Steady Writers far more regularly than she managed in 2012.