Five Qualities of Successful Books

Can’t wait for February so all of you can read my book and tell me if it has these five elements.

Every author dreams of making to the best-seller list, perhaps multiple times. You want people to read, enjoy, and appreciate the book you’ve put so much time and careful effort into. A successful book will make you feel validated; it will make you relevant; it can even make you rich.

With millions of other books and authors to compete against, it’s no small goal to write something that sells well. It’s often impossible to anticipate which books will succeed and which will fail. But one thing’s for sure: while no two successful books are alike, they all have the same five qualities. If you want your book to make it to the top, too, it must have all of them.

They’re Captivating

The secret of a successful book is that the topic doesn’t really mean much. Just about any subject can be turned into a successful book, because it’s the writing of it that matters. A book can be written about a widely popular and in-demand topic, but it will fail if it doesn’t capture a reader’s attention. Successful books excite readers and draw them in. Their words paint pictures and make the book come alive.

They’re Focused

Successful books have a clearly defined focus. Books that lack focus will lose a reader’s attention quickly or become confusing. They certainly won’t be captivating. It’s important to identify a specific focus before you even begin writing. And then, writing an outline first will help you stay focused and on track as you write. Everything you include in the book should add something to a reader’s experience or help prove your point. If your focus strays, your audience’s attention will, too.

They Have a Defined Audience

Before you write, you must also know exactly who you’re speaking to. No book can be written for everyone. One topic will be addressed very differently in a book for children versus a book for adults, or a book for men versus a book for women. If you write a book with a clearly defined audience in mind, you’ll make it that much more convincing and appealing to the intended reader.

They’re Original

Successful books offer something that no other book before has offered or in quite the same way. They present new ideas; they have a fresh, new tone; they contain new combinations of facts and information; they address a topic with a new audience in mind. Original books stand out and get noticed, and they succeed because people are interested in what’s new and different.

They Have Integrity

You could make any nonfiction book more interesting if you made up a few amazing statistics, for example, but that would be incredibly deceitful. Successful books have been written that later turned out to be falsities or misrepresentations, and they quickly crashed and burned. You have to have integrity when writing a book, and not just with nonfiction. Fiction books must not go beyond inspiration and outright steal their ideas from other books. To be successful as an author, your audience must be able to trust and believe you.

Alayne Valentine is a freelance blogger and literature student who considers herself an accomplished reader. She loves to write and covers anything from literary devices to using grammar checkers.

Photo Credit: EssHaych