How to Make a Million Dollars with Your Writing

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How to Make a Million Dollars with Your Writing

A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to participate in IndieReCon, a free online writers' conference for self-published authors.

I did a Google Hangout with Ali (our first time ever, there was a steep learning curve!) and talked about my thoughts on how to write a bestselling novel that will make you a million dollars.

Now normally I would charge $29.95 for a lecture like this online, but this one is free for you. But while you're at my site, check out the other lectures I have—all on sale for $9.95.

Also, you're invited to attend my Casting Your Novel Master Class. This intimate workshop will teach you to develop characters that will propel your story into the hearts of readers.

In this intensive, I will teach you how to direct your energy to building characters that are not only believable and complex, but are ready to spur conflict, explore themes, and complete an emotionally charged character arc.

As part of this course, you will create a cast for your novel. We’ll apply lessons to exercises that will be critiqued by myself and the class.

Workshop dates: July 13-17, St. George, UT.

Registration is open now and space is limited to ten people, so secure your spot today!

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  1. James Caldwell May 1, 2015 at 4:53 pm

    Awesome video!

  2. Sam Reeves May 1, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    I have a couple of questions about character diversity (especially concerning age) and target audiences.

    I can see where it is smart to include a lot of diversity in a story, so long as the writer avoids tokenism. However, is it smart to create a multi-viewpoint novel that uses this same structure? If one viewpoint is an adult female and another is a 14-year-old boy and another is elderly and another is middle aged, then we mix in different races and religions and social statuses, does the story stand a greater chance of being an enjoyable reading experience or are we alienating most readers with 3 out of 4 viewpoints?

    Also, if the writer wants to bring a little something for everyone to his or her story, how does he or she avoid creating a story that sounds like it is trying to please all of the people all of the time? I don’t think that would be a good thing. I think it would be generic.

    • James Caldwell May 2, 2015 at 11:19 am

      I’d say read some bestsellers, Sam. One of my favorites is the Stormlight archive by Brandon Sanderson. Lots of viewpoints. Two of the main characters are in their late teens to early twenties, then there’s a couple more with older viewpoint characters; late 40’s, early 50s.

      Personally I enjoy all the viewpoints in those books.

      There’s Brent Weeks Lightbringer series. Most the characters in this series are actually not white. But he has some interesting world building to explain why none white breeding is in fact good breeding in his story world. It has to do with the magic. Again, in this best selling series he has a few viewpoints of varying age; late teens, early twenties, and then a few characters in their 40’s. Of course, neither of these series I’ve mentioned are YA, they’re adult, but still feature middle ages, and young age viewpoints.

      Not quite sure what genres you’re into, but check out some bestsellers and see what they’re doing, or not doing, in their books.

      • Sam Reeves May 2, 2015 at 9:18 pm

        Thanks, James, for your comment. I do read bestsellers, although I will admit not having read the ones you mention. I will read them, however, because I am eager to see how each author handled the issue. Now I know where to look.

  3. Andre Harris May 3, 2015 at 3:40 am

    Thanks for this talk, It was most interesting. I was very impressed that you talked Stephanie Meyers through to the idea of Twilight (although I’m not her niche audience).
    However, I think this is information that should be taken advisedly. Writing a best-seller isn’t the same thing as writing a quality book. If you just look at how you can make the most money then you are taking the same approach used in movie sequels where they stick in a kid and a dog to widen the audience. It almost always fails to produce a satisfying story. Sequels often take a great adult film which already appealed to kids (and made plenty of money) then try to change the format to make it more child friendly-the results are tragic.
    Think of the all time best sellers and then think of your favourite books and I’ll bet they aren’t the same.
    One of my favourite sayings is ‘a camel is a horse designed by committee’.

    • David Farland May 3, 2015 at 9:32 pm

      Hello Andre,

      I agree.

      Just because a book makes money, doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily good. Look at all of the mediocre movies that do well. In fact, I believe that if you put quality as your first goal, your book will most likely find a strong readership and make money. However, you can try to do both at once–write beautifully to a large audience, so that you maximize your income.

  4. Lynnette Baum May 22, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    Farland brings up a great point. Many of the most popular books, stories and movies have a “family” of characters, like Star Wars (4-6), Nanny McFee and Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day. These characters encourage Instant bonding between readers and stories.

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